When it comes to asking the hard questions at the heart of scientific investigation, perhaps no book has ever topped Frankenstein. Thanks to a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Indiana Humanities is bringing to life an array of unique, fun and thought-provoking programs that invite Hoosiers to explore Mary Shelley’s remarkable novel, which turns 200 in 2018.
Here’s a sneak peek of what’s ahead during One State / One Story: Frankenstein—we hope you join us!
>>On Sept. 30, we’re kicking everything off with Frankenfest at the Indiana Medical History Museum. Some of the highlights include an all-day read-a-thon (apply to read here) in the Old Pathology Building’s operating theater, an onsite Franks-N-Steins beer garden featuring Central State Brewing beers and King David Dogs, a pop-up exhibit of rare anatomical books from the Ruth Lilly Medical Library at the IU School of Medicine; hands-on artmaking activities and Frankengames, and many other surprises. You don’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind event! RSVP here; the first 100 to show up will receive a free Frankenstein beer mug.
>>Love the idea of a read-a-thon but can’t make it to Indianapolis? We’ll be awarding read-a-thon grants to 10 organizations across the state to put on their own Frankenfest! Applications will open in September.
>>Also in September, applications will open for Frankenstein Community Reads. Community Reads invite schools, libraries, cities and towns, and other organizations to design and implement their own series of programs—everything from discussion programs to talks, to film screenings to creative writing workshops and more. We’ll provide $1,000, up to 50 books and all kinds of Frankenstein swag (posters, bookmarks, temporary tattoos and more!) to help Hoosier organizations bring their plans to life. Learn more about how Community Reads work here.
>>Next spring we’re hosting our first-ever weekend retreat—a deep dive into Frankenstein with experts and book lovers. The retreat will take place at DePauw University’s Prindle Institute for Ethics and will feature meals inspired by the book, performances and talks by renowned scholars. The NEH grant enables us to present this program at a greatly reduced cost. Mark your calendars for Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 now and stay tuned for registration details. LEU and CEU credit will be available, as well as reduced registration rates for librarians and teachers.
>>Two literary genres trace their origins to Frankenstein—and it just so happens the book was written by a teenage girl! So what better way to celebrate this extraordinary book than with a teen-focused Indiana Sci-Fi & Horror Writers Festival? During this one-day extravaganza in fall 2018, we’ll feature readings and book signings by Hoosier authors, a makers space (perfect for creating one’s own monster), workshops for aspiring horror and sci-fi writers and a marathon screening of Stranger Things, the Netflix show set in Indiana that perfectly illustrates all things speculative and creeptastic.
>>Thirteen colleges and universities will be coordinating campus and public Frankenstein programs too! Some of the highlights include a special exhibit of a rare first-edition of Frankenstein at IU’s Lilly Library, theatrical performances at Ball State, a free “communi-versity” course at University of Indianapolis (sign up here), film festivals, “Operation Frankenstein” at Notre Dame, campus-wide reads, a monstrous art show and more. Participating colleges include Ball State University, Indiana University-Bloomington, IU East, IUPU-Columbus, IUPUI, Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech Central Campus, Manchester University, Marian University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, University of Indianapolis, University of Notre Dame, and Wabash College.
>>We’ll be sponsoring a Frankenstein speakers bureau, too. Our group of scholars are eager to travel across Indiana and share their expertise with audiences of all ages. More information about available talks and how to book coming this fall. We’re also still accepting applications to join the bureau–apply here.
>>Our friends at DePauw’s Prindle Institute for Ethics will produce a special Frankenstein-themed episode of Examining Ethics, their monthly podcast. The episode will debut in late October.
>>Gaming expert Anastasia Salter will present Making (and Playing Monsters), a digital game design workshop, using Frankenstein as a jumping off point to learn how to design and build an online narrative game. The all-day workshop will take place on Friday, February 9 at IUPUI; register here. Eight hours of LEU and CEU credits available.
Can you tell we’re excited? We are incredibly grateful for the NEH support that will allow us to offer so many free and low-cost ways for Hoosiers from all walks of life to explore this great book and talk about how science affects our lives. We’re also thankful for our partners at the Indiana State Library.
Reach out to us with questions and ideas—we’d love to hear your ideas for other ways to create indelible and meaningful humanities experiences based on Frankenstein. And stay tuned—in early September, applications for Community Reads and Read-a-thon Grants will open, with more invitations to participate coming later.
PS: This is a tall order of work and we’re looking for someone to join our team as a program manager for all things Frankenstein. The NEH grant allows us to add an 18-month position for a recent humanities PhD or MA who’s looking to start their public humanities career. Read the job description and apply by Friday, September 22.