From Panel Discussions to Writing Workshop; Public is Invited
MELBOURNE, FLA. — In honor of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley writing her still-influential classic, Frankenstein, Florida Institute of Technology’s School of Arts and Communication, with the support of the university’s Evans Library, will present a series of fun, informative and multimedia public events starting Oct. 25.
Published in 1818, Frankenstein was drafted two years prior, during a time known as the “Year Without a Summer” because of the climatological and environmental impact of the Mount Tambora volcanic eruption in Indonesia. Persistently rainy weather contributed to Shelley and her friends opting to stay indoors during much of a Switzerland vacation, and the group decided to challenge each other to write ghost stories.
That is when Shelley began drafting what became Frankenstein.
Here’s a look at what’s planned to celebrate #Frankenstein200.
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 7 p.m., Cinema World, Melbourne: The theater will carry the broadcast of National Theatre Live’s Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. This is a unique chance to see a dynamic theater performance on the big screen. Tickets are $12.50 at Cinema World.
Wednesday, Oct. 26, 6 p.m., Link Room, Evans Library, Florida Tech campus: Join Andy Stanfield, associate professor in the School of Arts and Communication, for a two-hour writing workshop titled, “An Experiment in Fiction: Technology, Atmosphere, and Biography in Crafting Novels and Short Stories.” This workshop will focus on prewriting when crafting short stories and novels, with a focus on each participant’s biography, the technologies in the fiction and their impact, and creating the appropriate atmosphere and tone. RSVPs are requested by contacting Stanfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, Oct. 27, 8 p.m., Evans Library, Room P133: Free presentation of a comic film adaptation of the Frankenstein story.
Friday, Oct. 28, 6:30 p.m., Evans Library, first floor: An interdisciplinary panel discussion. Ocean Engineering and Sciences professor Steven Lazarus will examine the climate change connections in Frankenstein. We also see echoes of Shelley’s creation in debates about genetic engineering and scientifically modified “Frankenfoods,” so philosophy professor Moti Mizrahi will weigh in on the bioethics angle and the “playing God” argument.
The panel will also include analysis of the literary, historical and pop culture aspects of Frankenstein, with commentary from humanities professors Debbie Lelekis, Angela Tenga, Lisa Perdigao and Jacob Ivey. Additionally, Melissa Crofton and her students will present on a class project on the novel and its adaptations. In between each topic there will be short readings and film clips, and Kyle Knappenberger from the Florida Tech music program will provide Frankenstein-inspired tunes.
And be sure to monitor Florida Tech’ s Instagram feed @myfloridatech starting Oct. 24, as the organizers of the university’s #Frankenstein200 events will take over the account.