Join us on Wednesday, January 24, for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein!

“The Creature Gazing into a Pool.” Artist: Lynd Ward, provided by the Estate of Lynd Ward

Two hundred years ago, 20-year-old Mary Shelley published her masterpiece, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. It was an immediate popular success. The book would rock the world, and inspire films, theater adaptations, television shows, video games, sequels, and spinoffs. But today’s public conception of the hero may owe more to Boris Karloff’s iconic 1931 film role than to the “the Creature” that Shelley created in her classic, with its complicated and troubling humanity.

Hence, our winter “Another Look” event spotlights Shelley’s Frankenstein. The discussion will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 24, at the Bechtel Conference Center. Frankenstein will be a special two-hour event with four panelists. 

Another Look’s winter event on Frankenstein is part of Stanford’s year-long celebration of the bicentennial of the book’s 1818 publication. Shelley’s tale has proved timely, even prophetic, given our current concerns about artificial stem cells, and animal-to-human transplants. Frankenstein explores the role of conscience in creation, and asks: What does it mean to be human? Is it wise to play God? What are the creator’s moral obligations towards his or her creation? While the campus-wide Frankenstein@200 will explore the moral, scientific, sociological, ethical and spiritual dimensions of the book, Another Look will focus on the book as a literary work: a flowering of the romantic imagination, as well as a pioneering landmark in science fiction.

Acclaimed author Robert Pogue Harrison will moderate the discussion. The Stanford professor who is Another Look’s director writes regularly for The New York Review of Books and hosts the popular talk show, Entitled Opinions. He will be joined by three panelists who have all taught Frankenstein at Stanford: French Prof. Dan Edelstein, Classics Prof. Andrea Nightingale, and former Stanford fellow Inga Pierson.

All our events are free and open to the public – and please bring your friends! You can find Frankenstein at the Stanford Bookstore, Kepler’s in Menlo Park, and Bell’s Books in Palo Alto.

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