200th Anniversary Of "Frankenstein" Book No Monster Mash At UCSB; Focus Of Seminar Looking At Legacy

Oct 24, 2018

The classic movie “Frankenstein” is celebrating a huge anniversary.

While generations think of the story of a movie character, this year actually marks the 200th anniversary of the book which created it all, by Mary Shelley.

A conference at UC Santa Barbara this week is going to examine the work not just from a literary, but from a science ethics viewpoint.

Dr. Judy Carson is a UCSB English professor who helped organize “Frankenstein at 200: A Campus Conversation.” Carson is a Shelley scholar.

She says the book was far from an instant hit, and it took a play based on the story about five years after publication to build interest in the story.

Carson says there are a number of symposiums around the world surrounding the 200th anniversary, with many considering the concept that what perhaps seemed like pure fantasy now bay have some basis in reality. As part of the day long event at UCSB Thursday, they have brought in scientists and researchers to talk about the ethical impacts of some of what was envisioned in the story.

Carson admits as someone focused on Shelley’s literature, it’s hard at times to see the different portrayals of the “Frankenstein” story in pop culture. At the same time, she notes that it may help interest people in the story.

UCSB’S Carsey-Wolf Center is also presenting a related film series called “Frakenstein: Afterlives.” It includes some dramas, and some light hearted movies connected to the story, including a midnight Friday showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at UCSB’s Campbell Hall.