It’s alive! This year, Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein celebrates its 200th birthday. Thus, there is good reason to take the opportunity to celebrate one of the most iconic monsters of horror literature. Between October 24 and October 31, the international “Frankenweek” is celebrated. During the week, Linnaeus University arranges lectures and a panel discussion on the theme “It’s Alive! Frankenstein in contemporary popular fiction”.
How has the heritage from Mary Shelley's novel been handled in contemporary popular fiction? Is it possible to talk of a feminist Frankenstein? How has Frankenstein's monster been depicted in films and literature? Is Frankenstein's creation a political monster? What happens when the monster itself gets its say and gives his view on the world?
We invite all who are interested in horror in general, and Frankenstein in particular, to a terrifyingly exciting meeting with Frankenstein's monster and his descendants during "Frankenweek" 2018.
Both events are open to the public and free of charge.
Programme for Frankenweek
October 24 at 11.45–13.00: Frankenstein and feminism
Organiser: Linnaeus University. Host: University Library, Växjö
Lunch lecture by Maria Nilsson, senior lecturer in comparative literature, and Anna Gutowska, postdoctoral fellow in film studies, on the theme Frankenstein and feminism.
From Shelley's Frankenstein to Todays Dystopian Young Adult Novel: On feminism and reproduction
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is not just seen as a start of modern science fiction, but also as a start of feminist science fiction. Focusing on reproduction, this lecture will touch in not only cyborgs, alternative reproduction and the kidnapped female womb, but also on really lousy parents.
"Make Me a Mate": Is Penny Dreadful a feminist rewriting of Frankenstein?
In my talk I'm going to present the character arc of Brona/Lilly, played by Billie Piper, in Showtime's acclaimed television series Penny Dreadful. In the series, which is a mashup of characters from Dracula, Frankenstein and The Portrait of Dorian Gray, Brona/Lilly is one of the few main characters who do not have their counterparts in nineteenth-century novels. All the same, she is not truly an original character, as her story owes much to a conflation of two recognisable tropes. Brona/Lilly's character is inspired by the "bride of Frankenstein" tradition, which has its roots in Mary Shelley's novel, but is more directly linked to the Universal Monsters franchise and specifically to the Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Both the classic film and Penny Dreadful can be seen as loose retellings of Frankenstein, which share the same point of divergence from Shelley's story: what would happen if Victor Frankenstein yielded to the creature's demands and made him a female companion?
Note! The lectures will be held in English.
Reading aloud from the novel Frankenstein
The lunch lecture will start and close with a reading-aloud session from the novel Frankenstein by the students Amanda Brinkenius and Adon Petersson Gerdes.
The event will be take place at OmniSpace on the ground floor in the University Library, Växjö.
October 26 at 18.30–20.00: Panel discussion on the heritage from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in contemporary popular fiction
Organiser: Linnaeus University. Host: Kafé de Luxe
Note! The event is in Swedish!
A terrifyingly exciting conversation on the most iconic monster in horror literature and its significance for contemporary popular fiction.
The following researchers – and Frankenstein enthusiasts – from Linnaeus University will be part of the panel:
• Anna Höglund (moderator), senior lecturer in comparative literature, gives a short introductory presentation of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein.
• Maria Nilsson, senior lecturer in comparative literature, talks about how Frankenstein can be seen as a starting point for feminist science fiction.
• Johan Höglund, associate professor of English literature, talks about Universal Studio's Frankenstein (1931) and how the movie can be interpreted as a contribution to the race biology debate of that time.
• Magnus Eriksson, senior lecturer in creative writing, talks about how the monster becomes a comical character in Mel Brook's horror parody movie Young Frankenstein (1974).
• Emma Tornborg, postdoctoral fellow in comparative literature, talks about what happens when the monster gets his own voice.
The event will take place at Kafé de Luxe, Sandgärdsgatan 17, Växjö.