Manchester University
Oak Leaves

October 6, 2018

Manchester Features ‘Frankenstein’ During October, November

Marcus Zwiebel


Manchester University’s department of English will be providing a “monstrously” great time over the next two months by hosting several events which will feature Mary Shelley’s classic horror novel, “Frankenstein”—in time for its bicentenary birthday.

Dr. Katharine Ings, professor of English and chair of Manchester’s English department, explains in an email that the first of the two events (both of which are VIAs) will be an interdisciplinary discussion among university faculty specializing in philosophy, physics, and gender studies. The VIA panel, “Frankenstein in the Future,” will discuss how the novel informs and relates to their respective academic disciplines. It will take place in Cordier Auditorium Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 3:30 p.m.

The second “Frankenstein” VIA will be a film screening of the 1994 “Frankenstein” film which will be followed by a discussion led by Dr. Jonathan Watson. The film screening and subsequent discussion will take place Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. in ACEN 101. The event, according to the VIA calendar, is anticipated to last for approximately two to three hours.

The “Frankenstein” involvement on Manchester’s campus will also include an exhibit in Funderburg Library. Librarian Darla Haines has constructed a three-panel exhibit featuring what she calls the “publication, genesis, and legacy” of the novel, as well as a variety of artwork, information, and versions of “Frankenstein” covers. The triptych display will be displayed on the main floor of Funderburg library for several weeks, with the dual purpose of complementing the two VIAs and providing information to students, staff and faculty.

“I just hope people come see it,” says Haines, with an enthusiastic smile. “I’m excited about the opportunity for students to discover that the novel is so much more than just a horror story.”

The English department and their library cohorts intend to use the “Frankenstein” activities to inform and learn with the university community and the surrounding communities. Ings says that she sees the activities as building a literary community surrounding “Frankenstein”—one that is known as an icon via movies, cartoons and Halloween costumes.

Manchester University’s “Frankenstein” activities resulted from the effort of Manchester’s English department and library staff, but also from the work of Leah Nahmias, director of Programs and Community Engagement for Indiana Humanities. Ings says in an email that the organization (Indiana Humanities) wrote to the National Endowment for the Humanities to receive financial support for each participating institution—including Manchester.