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Facing Familiar Fears: Race, Gender, and Technology in Frankenstein

Posted in: English Department, Events

Photo of Wendy Nielsen and the cover of Frankenstein

Are humans only born, or can they be made? Must your origins determine your future? Are you fated to be who you are, or can you choose? What lessons does Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein have to teach us about Black Lives Matter and the role of science and technology in shaping our concept of who counts as human? What can we learn through Shelley’s novel about extending human rights–including the right to reproduce–to synthetic, artificial life forms?

Though it was first published more than two centuries ago, Shelley’s groundbreaking narrative is as relevant and provocative today as it was in 1818. Its blend of science fiction, horror, and gothic drama provide a phantasmagorical laboratory in which progressive generations of scholars, writers, and artists continue to test what it means to be human. This talk will explore Frankenstein’s implications for modern autonomy and identity issues by analyzing the original text with an eye toward science’s impact on racial, sexual, and gender-based discrimination. Topics will range from incest to artificial life, and slavery to the singularity.

This illustrated lecture for the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies will show clips from classic Frankenstein films and some NC-17/unrated versions.

Date and time
Tue, May 17, 2022
7:00 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

Film Noir Cinema
122 Meserole Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Register here