Frankenstein Across Time & Media: A Bicentennial Reconsideration
2018 marks the bicentennial of the first publishing of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. The anniversary has already been marked by major interdisciplinary initiatives across academia (e.g. a two-year series of events and materials produced by Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination) and important publications like Monstrous Progeny: A History of the Frankenstein Narratives by Lester Friedman and Allison Kavey. We have also seen a spate of recent films that address the famous story (I, Frankenstein 2014, Victor Frankenstein 2015) and its author (Mary Shelley 2018), as well as many others (e.g. Ex Machina 2015) that seem at least partly inspired or influenced by it. Even Donald Trump tweeted about "Al Frankenstien" (sic) in 2017 in referring to Senator Al Franken's alleged sexual misconduct. Of course, these few examples are only the latest tips of a very large iceberg of texts and issues worthy of study.
This panel proposes to explore not only the “traditions” of Frankenstein but also what Friedman, Kavey and others have called the “transitions, translations and transformations” of Frankenstein across the years and across media. Papers examining under-explored aspects, new archival research, or new interpretations of older or canonical Frankenstein media texts (Universal, Hammer, etc.) are certainly welcome, but so are papers considering media that borrow, stretch, interrogate or utilize any aspect of, or relation to, Frankenstein beyond obvious adaptations. A variety of methodological approaches, including but not limited to textual analysis, is also desirable; thus, papers might investigate Frankenstein fans or other audiences, debate the sociopolitical effects of Frankenstein media, or theorize and critique the very idea of a Frankenstein media text or narrative, among many possibilities. This panel further aims to be transnational and transmedia-oriented, and so papers dealing with television, radio, comic books, video games, online and social media and more, in addition to films, are also very welcome.
Please be in touch with David Lugowski of Manhattanville College (firstname.lastname@example.org; David.Lugowski@mville.edu) by August 10 with your proposals. Proposals in progress are fine, but please include a title, a proposal as close to 2500 characters as possible, 3-5 bibliographic references, a biographical sketch close to 500 characters, and your contact information. I will respond on or by August 14, 2018.