Why Frankenstein Matters at 200: Rethinking the Human through the Arts and Sciences, July 4-6, 2018

This bicentennial conference on the persisting cultural and scientific impact of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein will take place July 4-6, 2018 at the University of Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway facility, adjacent to the Coliseum.  The conference will bring together a group of distinguished scholars (30-35) from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds across the sciences, humanities, and arts to interact on the continuing urgency of Frankenstein—the most widely taught novel worldwide at the university level—for a broad spectrum of pressing concerns in such fields as bioethics, genetics, artificial intelligence, evolutionary theory, environmental studies, race relations and colonialism, literary and theater studies, human rights, refugee studies, gender studies, disability studies, philosophy, and religious studies.

The organizing theme of this event considers how Shelley’s gripping  novel, and its many theatrical and screen adaptations over the years, have shaped or may shape our evolving comprehension of the human experience, especially in relation to art, culture, science, technology, ethics, and politics most broadly conceived.

The finalized conference line-up of speakers features, among other leading writers, Joyce Carol Oates and includes the following speakers:  Stuart Curran, Anne Mellor, Jeffrey Cox, Timothy Morton, David Punter, Mary Jacobus, James Chandler, Susan Wolfson, Serena Baiesi, and Claire Connolly (literary studies and Romanticism); Steven B. Smith, Nancy J. Hirschmann, Marina Calloni, and David Archard (philosophy and political theory); Monika Nalepa (political science); Franca Dellarosa (comparative literature); Elizabeth Young, Ron Leavao, and Devi Snively (film studies); Eben Kirksey, Jon Marks, and Tracey Betsinger (anthropology); Charles Gross (neuroscience); Sylvana Tomaselli (history); Lilla Maria Crisafulli (gender studies) and Holly Goodson (molecular and cell biology).

Conference activities will also include a new feminist film adaptation of Frankenstein.

The University of Notre Dame conference organizational team represents the interdisciplinary dynamic of this event:  Eileen Hunt Botting (Political Science); Agustin Fuentes (Anthropology); and Greg Kucich (English).


* Logo credits:

Rachel Mazzini, Notre Dame Class of 2021
Landon Scholar, College of Engineering