Arts / ANU celebrates 200 years of monsters

Share Canberra's trusted news:

IT’s a happy 200th birthday to Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel “Frankenstein” and the Australian National University is holding a conference to celebrate.

The conference, “Frankenstein 2018: Two hundred years of monsters”, runs from today (September 12) to September 15 and will include a range of experts speaking on how the book has impacted upon science, technology, genetics, artificial intelligence and medical ethics.

Topics include “Frankenstein, the Luddites, and the birth of automation”, “examining the career of a real-life Victor Frankenstein” and “Frankenstein, artificial life and the definition of life”.

The event will also focus on how “Frankenstein”, which began as Shelley’s contribution to a round of ghost stories at Lord Byron’s place during a cold, wet summer in Switzerland, has continued to influence modern storytelling. There will be presentations exploring how the HBO drama “Westworld”, the “Iron Man” films, and Neil Shusterman’s “Unwind” novel series all draw inspiration from Shelley’s work, often regarded as the first science fiction book.

The conference will also feature a screening of “Exquisite Corpse”, a film showing student projects that combine art and anatomy to creatively explore of the functions of the heart, lungs and thorax. It’ll be played in the foyer at the National Film and Sound Archive.

The fun part will be a magic lantern show and a workshop where participants collaborate to create skeletal hands and feet from plasticine and sugar paste.

More information at

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleArts / Poland gives Canberra competition winner a standing ovation
Next articleProposed law could raise infrastructure costs
Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

Leave a Reply