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Frankenstein Then and Now, 1818-2018

May 11, 2018 - May 12, 2018

Romantic Bicentennials Symposium 2018

Program Committee Chairs: Jerrold E. Hogle (University of Arizona) and Anne K. Mellor (University of California, Los Angeles)

Steering Committee: Alan Bewell (University of Toronto), Stuart Curran (University of Pennsylvania), Denise Gigante (Stanford University), Kevin Gilmartin (California Institute of Technology), Jan Golinski (University of New Hampshire)


“The Frankenstein Challenge”
Dr. David Baltimore
(President Emeritus and Robert Andrews Milliken Professor of Biology
California Institute of Technology)

7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 10
in Rothenberg Hall at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California 
Tickets are required, but they are free and can be obtained in advance here.

Presented by the Huntington, with additional funding provided by the Keats-Shelley Association (Neil Fraistat, President), the Byron Society of America (Andrew Stauffer, President), and Caltech’s Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Anne Rothenberg Fund for the Humanities).

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the first publication of Mary Shelley’s original novel, major scholars, dramatists, and scientists discuss the ongoing issues that Frankenstein has raised at its own time and today, from the social and scientific revolutions of its moment to the questions raised by more recent adaptations and the present-day rise of artificial intelligence and genetic engineering.


Friday, May 11, 2018

8:30 Registration & Coffee  
9:30 Host Welcome: Steve Hindle (Huntington President)
  Romantics 200 Welcome:


Neil Fraistat (Keats-Shelley Association of America)

Andrew Stauffer (Byron Society of America)


  Co-Chairs Welcome:


Jerrold E. Hogle (University of Arizona)

Anne K. Mellor (University of California, Los Angeles)

  Session 1 The Genesis of Mary Shelley’s Novel
  Moderator: Stuart Curran (University of Pennsylvania)
    ·       Susan Wolfson (Princeton University)
“The First Frankenstein: From Conception to Publication to Revision”
·       Gillen D’Arcy Wood (University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign)
Frankenstein: Birth and Re-Birth”
11:45 Lunch  
1:00 Session 2 The Cultural “Climates” of the Original Frankenstein
  Moderator: Kevin Gilmartin (California Institute of Technology)
    ·       Alan Bewell (University of Toronto)
“Moving Parts:  Frankenstein and Mobility”
·       Maisha Wester (Indiana University, Bloomington)
“What is a Slave?: Race and Revolution in Colonial Britain”
2:45 Break  
3:00 Session 3 Shelley’s Frankenstein and the Sciences of Her Day
  Moderator: Neil Fraistat (University of Maryland, College Park)
    ·       Robert Mitchell (Duke University)
Frankenstein and the Sciences of Self-Regulation”
·       Alan Richardson (Boston College
“The Brain of Frankenstein”


Saturday, May 12, 2018

8:30     Registration & Coffee
9:15                 Session 4 A Major Recent Adaptation: The 2011 National Theater Frankenstein
Moderator: Ronald Lavao (Rutgers University, New Brunswick)
A video showing of the Frankenstein stage production by the National Theater of Great Britain (which debuted in 2011), directed by Danny Boyle and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller
11:45 Lunch
1:00     Session 5 Adaptations of Frankenstein in the 20th and 21st Centuries
Moderators: Jerrold E. Hogle and Anne K. Mellor
·       Nick Dear (playwright, 2011 National Theater Frankenstein)
“Adapting the Unthinkable”
·      David J. Skal (film historian and analyst)
“Snap, Crackle, Scream: Frankenstein from Stage to Screen”
2:45 Break
3:15        Session 6 The Frankenstein Legacy:  The Current Scientific and Ethical Debates
Moderator:         Andrew Stauffer (University of Virginia)
·       Jennifer Doudna (University of California, Berkeley)
“Gene Editing and the Future of Frankenstein
·       Henry T. Greeley (Stanford University)
“Genetics, Neuroscience, and Artificial Intelligence in the 21st Century: Which Frankenstein Will We Learn From?”  
Concluding Remarks:                                      Jerry Hogle and Anne Mellor


1151 Oxford Road, San Marino CA  91108

PHONE:  (626) 405-3432    EMAIL:


Funding provided by

The Huntington’s William French Smith Endowment


Conference registration and optional lunches by reservation only.

Conference registration fee                $25.00 (Students free)

Buffet lunch (January 12)                   $20.00

Buffet lunch (January 13)                   $20.00

Please visit for ticket information.


May 11, 2018
May 12, 2018
Event Category:


The Huntington Library, Art Galleries, and Botanical Gardens
San Marino, CA United States + Google Map


Professor Jerrold Hogle
Professor Anne Mellor

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