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The English Department and the Luann Dummer Center for Women host a series of events to both commemorate the bicentennial of Frankenstein's "birth" and recognize its boundless influences.

The events offered are part of the larger Frankenreads project, a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded initiative of the Keats-Shelley Association of America, featuring especially an international series of readings of the full text of the novel on Halloween 2018.


188X235 pxMonday, October 29, 2018
Film Screening and Discussion of Spirit of the Beehive (Dir. Victor Erice, 1973)

5:30 p.m., Owens Science Hall 3M Auditorium
Filled with haunting images and acclaimed as one of the greatest Spanish films of all time, The Spirit of the Beehive powerfully evokes the joy and sorrow of childhood, the legacy of war, and the transformative experience of the cinema itself. The story centers on six-year-old Ana, who is terrified by the 1931 film version of Frankenstein and struggles to make sense of her lost innocence and complicated family life. Set in 1940, The Spirit of the Beehive also portrays a family, community, and nation grappling with the bitter aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Light refreshments will be served at this event; following the screening, Dr. Joe Moser (English) and Dr. Irene Domingo (Spanish) will facilitate a group discussion about the film. We gratefully thank the Department of Film Studies for sponsoring this film. 

188X235Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Lecture: "The Biology Behind, and Ahead of, Frankenstein"
12 p.m., Anderson Student Center Iversen Hearth Room (ASC 340)
Frankenstein’s monster was created based on what was happening in the biological sciences at the time of of the book’s writing. However, the fear of what cutting-edge science can unleash on humanity is still present in modern times, and, remarkably, many of the biological themes in Frankenstein are very relevant in society today.

Dr. Jerry Husak grew up in south Texas obsessed with horror movies and books. He received a B.S in Biology from Angelo State University and a Ph.D. in Zoology from Oklahoma State University before conducting postdoctoral research at Virginia Tech, the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, and the University of South Dakota. Dr. Husak is an Associate Professor in Biology at St. Thomas, where he teaches courses in Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, Endocrinology, Stress Physiology, and the Biology of Monsters. He's still obsessed with horror movies and books.

188X235Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Lecture: "Reflections on Frankenstein, Film, and Black Atlantic Autobiography"
6 p.m., Anderson Student Center Iversen Hearth Room (ASC 340)
Focusing on the scenes when Frankenstein mirrors our act of reading and connects directly with us across oceans of time and space, this talk offered by Dr. Joel Pace makes connections between various moments from some literary classics and contemporary films--such as Milton’s Paradise Lost, the slave narrative of Olaudah Equiano, Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman, The Shape of Water, and Get Out. This talk will be followed by a reception.

Joel Pace is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, and Associate Editor of the transatlantic studies journal Symbiosis. He completed his doctorate in English at the University of Oxford, UK, with a focus on Atlantic literature.  He is co-editor of Transatlantic Romanticism: An Anthology of British, American, and Canadian Literature, 1767-1867 and Studies in Romanticism’s 2017 special issue on Black Romanticism.  He spends his free time loitering at the crossroads of literature and music. In keeping with this, he has appeared as a guest on Minnesota Public Radio's All Things Considered, BBC Radio, and BBC Two to discuss authors, race, and music. Also an active musician, he’s shared bills with The Meditations, The Wailers, Wyclef Jean of The Fugees, and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. (Photo Credit: Lisa Venticinque Photography)

188X235Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Frankenreads: Reading the Entirety of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
9 a.m. - 6 p.m., O'Shaughnessy Educational Center, Luann Dummer Center for Women (OEC 103) [Note: This is a location change from O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library]
Participate in a marathon reading of the 1818 edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and be a part of history as you join with other readers at over 450 institutions across the globe! Readers may come and go as they please, staying for a half-hour or making a day of it. Participants will sit in a circle and take turns reading; listeners are welcome too. Readers don’t need to bring anything, as several copies of Frankenstein will be available to pick up and leave during the event.

Light refreshments will be served throughout the day.


188X235Frankenstein Essay Contest
St. Thomas students are invited to submit an essay written for an English class that focuses on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, whether that be a literary analysis of the novel or a discussion about filmic adaptation(s) the novel inspired.

The deadline for essay submission to the English Department administrative office (JRC 333) is 3 p.m. on Monday, December 17th.

A first place prize of $100 will be awarded to the best essay, and a $50 prize will be awarded to two honorable mentions.


  • The essay will be judged on the thesis, the use of evidence to support that thesis, the strength of conclusions, academic merit, literary merit, and creativity of thought
  • Submitted essay must be five pages (approx. 1250 words) or less (this page count does not include the works cited page)
  • No more than one submission per student

Format for Submissions

Essay should be typed, double-spaced. Please paperclip the formal essay pages together—do not staple. Since it will be judged blindly by a panel of English faculty, do not include your name on the essay itself, just a title. With your essay, submit a cover sheet that includes your name, the essay title, the class for which the essay was written, the instructor’s name, and your UST email address. You have the option of discussing your essay submission with your instructor for revisions and suitability. Please note that your submitted essay will not be returned.