Frankenstein: Two hundred years of monsters

Presenter/s: ANU School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics, The Humanities Research Centre, The National Film and Sound Archive

Event type: Conference

Event date: Wednesday, 12 September 2018 - 10:00am to Saturday, 15 September 2018 - 1:30pm

Event venue: The Australian National University and the National Film and Sound Archive

Nearly two centuries after its anonymous publication on 1 January 1818, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus remains as topical as ever. Its core story - of a recklessly ambitious and naïve scientist whose artificial, human-like creature arouses only horror and disgust, and escapes control to seek revenge on his creator - has become, for better or worse, the techno‐scientific fable of modernity. First adapted for stage by Richard Brinsley Peake in 1823, and for film by Edison Studios in 1910, the story has inspired more theatre, film, television and other adaptations than any other modern narrative, with more than 50 screen adaptations appearing in the 2010s alone. From Fritz Lang’s Metropolis to Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show  to The Addams Family, the Frankenstein myth reaches into every recess of high and popular culture.

The conference features 45 speakers presenting papers across a huge diversity of topics, an art exhibition, a creative workshop, a magic lantern show, and of course cinema screenings at Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive.  


  1. 12 September: Frankenstein in 1818: historicising the monster (Professor Sharon Ruston, Lancaster)
  2. 13 September: Adaptation and experimentation: Frankenstein in film and other media (Assistant Professor Shane Denson, Stanford)
  3. 14 September: Frankenstein’s queer family: gender, sexuality, reproduction and the work of care (Professor Julie Carlson, University of California, Santa Barbara)
  4. 15 September: Frankenstein as scientific fable: from grave-­‐robbing and galvanism to synthetic biology and machine learning (Professor Genevieve Bell, Australian National University)

Full program available below. 

Book your tickets online

Please direct any inquiries to Penny Brew at

Professor Julie Carlson’s keynote address is generously supported by funding from the ANU Gender Institute


Updated:  7 November 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute