Indiana Humanities is taking adults back to English class with a “Frankenstein” weekend retreat on March 23-24 at DePauw University’s Prindle Institute for Ethics. The event will kick off with a keynote presentation from Dr. Richard Gunderman of IU School of Medicine, followed by a cocktail hour and dinner party inspired by the book. On Saturday, Dr. James Norton (Marian University), Dr. Monique Morgan (Indiana University) and Rebecca Baumann (Indiana University) will deliver additional talks about the book as well as facilitate small group discussions among attendees. Check-in begins at 4 p.m. on Friday with a welcome and keynote to follow at 5 p.m. On Saturday, the program will run from approximately 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Teachers and librarians will be able to earn CEU/LEU credits.
The “Frankenstein” weekend retreat is part of a year-long statewide read of the book for its 200th birthday, as part of Indiana Humanities’ One State / One Story: Frankenstein initiative. Written by teenage Mary Shelley in 1818, “Frankenstein” tells the story of a young scientist who created a grotesque living creature through a scientific experiment and was horrified by what he had made.
“‘Frankenstein’ illuminates the limits of natural science, technology and knowledge itself as means of enhancing human life,” said Dr. Richard Gunderman, Chancellor’s Professor of Radiology at Indiana University School of Medicine. “In my keynote presentation, we will examine these limitations to more deeply understand our own nature and what it takes to make the most of our human potential.”
To attend the retreat, registration is required at frankenretreat.eventbrite.com. The first 75 registrants will receive a special $90 reduced rate thanks to stipends provided by the National Endowment for the humanities. Librarians and teachers can opt for a $40 Saturday-only reduced rate. Lodging is available for reservation at the Inn at DePauw, where Indiana Humanities has set up a room block.
The registration fee includes a copy of “Frankenstein,” a welcome packet with supplementary background readings, a personalized tote bag and other swag as well as cocktails and meals throughout the weekend.
“Although the book is 200 years old, ‘Frankenstein’ is still relevant today. We still wrestle with the limits of science, the consequences of technology and how we treat people who are different than we are,’’ said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “This immersive weekend retreat will give attendees a unique opportunity to take our deepest dive into the text yet with the help of experts, who will guide our exploration. We’ll have plenty of fun, too, as we take in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the world of Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein and his monster.”
One State / One Story: Frankenstein is part of Indiana Humanities’ two-year Quantum Leap initiative, which encourages Hoosiers to celebrate what happens when we bridge the humanities with STEM.