U of S English professor Lisa Vargo reads a copy of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. The 200th anniversary of the book will be celebrated during a Frankenreads event on campus on Oct. 31. (Photo: Chris Putnam)

“It’s (still) alive!”: Frankenstein continues to intrigue readers, 200 years later

A global book club is coming to the U of S this Halloween to dissect and discuss one of the world’s best-known Gothic horror stories.

On Oct. 31, the College of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan will hold a Frankenreads event at noon in Upper Place Riel. Frankenreads is an international celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s infamous novel Frankenstein, organized by the Keats-Shelley Association of America.

English professor Lisa Vargo, a noted researcher on Mary Shelley, felt it was important to hold a Frankenreads event in Saskatoon.

“There will be celebrations all over the world and, of course, I wanted the U of S to be part of this event and, quite literally, place Saskatoon on the map of cities where events are taking place,” she said.

“In more personal terms, for many years I have written about and edited volumes of writings by Mary Shelley—so she is part of my scholarly life. In January of this year I was awarded the Keats-Shelley Association of America’s Distinguished Scholar Award, which is awarded to two scholars each year at an annual dinner. To say thank you for this recognition, it became all the more important to me to have the U of S join the celebration of Frankenstein’s bicentenary.”

The free Frankenreads event at the U of S will include a short trivia quiz, with prizes, and a presentation of scenes from a 19th-century dramatic adaptation of Frankenstein, featuring actors Max Perez and Michael Martin. The event will conclude with a panel discussion by several professors from the College of Arts and Science, who will discuss what the novel means to them from the perspectives of their research and their disciplines. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes.

Read more on this event at the College of Arts and Sciences news site.

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