"It's still alive!": Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and its biomedical legacy Event as iCalendar

(School of Humanities)

20 September 2018


Venue: Lecture Theatre, Old Government House (102-G36)

Professor Susan Lederer | University of Wisconsin-Madison

Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, is 200 years old. The book, published by a twenty-one-year old English woman in 1818, has had an enduring and compelling influence on Western culture. More than that, Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus, has become part of a collective vocabulary that shapes the reception and discussion of new developments in biomedicine and their bioethical implications.

This public lecture considers the ways in which the Frankenstein framework (a more simplistic rendering of Mary Shelley's tale of a monster and his maker) has infused both medical and popular discussions since the late 19th century through the present day, when the prefix "Franken" can be used to signal a range of developments from genetically modified foods (Frankenfoods) through such radical interventions as head transplants (Frankenstein surgeries).

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