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Penetrating the Secrets of Nature   

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Following is a highly selective list of books and articles, compiled by Richard Harrison, UCF Librarian, dealing with some of the common themes and motifs pertaining to Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature.  All are owned or accessible at the UCF Libraries.

Themes include: Frankenstein and Mary Shelley | Science in Society | Science in Art and Culture | Community, Belonging to Community and the Outsider | Gothic and Horror Literature and Art  *Online version - items are available in NetLibrary and can only be accessed from off-campus by the UCF Community.

Photo of traveling NEH Frankenstein Exhibit
Part of the traveling NEH Frankenstein Exhibit


Frankenstein and Mary Shelley

Bennet, Betty T. Mary Wollstonecarft Shelley: An Introduction. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.
General Collection PR 5398 .B46 1998

I
ncludes a reading of Frankenstein in the context of its author's full career. Also discusses a variety of Mary Shelley's lesser known works, including Matilda, Valperga, The Last Man, Perkin Warbeck, Lodore, Falkner, and her travel books.

Bennet, Betty T., and Stuart Curran, eds. Mary Shelley in Her Times. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.
General Collection PR 5398 .M27 2000

                * Online version

 

Emphasizes the full range and significance of Mary Shelley’s writings in terms of her own era and ours. Essays in this volume attempt to demonstrate the importance of Mary Shelley's neglected novels, including Matilda, Valperga, The Last Man, and Falkner. Other topics include her work in various literary genres, her editing of her husband's poetry and prose, her politics, and her trajectory as a female writer.

 

Bennett, Betty T., and Charles E. Robinson, eds. The Mary Shelley Reader: Containing Frankenstein, Mathilda, Tales and Stories, Essays and Reviews, and Letters by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
General Collection PR 5397 .A4 1990

 

                An anthology of many of Mary Shelley’s most important works, along with an introduction, a chronology, explanatory notes, and a bibliography.

 

Fish, Audrey A, Anne K. Mellor, and Esther H. Schor, eds., The Other Mary Shelley: Beyond Frankenstein. New York: Oxford University Press, 1933.
General Collection PR 5398 .O87 1993

                 This collection of essays sketches a portrait of the "other Mary Shelley": the writer and intellectual who recognized the turbulent interplay among issues of family, gender, and society, and whose writings resonate strongly in the setting of contemporary politics, culture, and feminism.  

 Haynes, Roslynn D. “Frankenstein: The Scientist We Love to Hate.” Public Understanding of Science 4 (October 1995): 435-444.
*

                The evolving cultural resonance of Frankenstein, exemplified by Kenneth Branagh's 1994 film Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, are considered.

Lederer, Susan, curator. Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature: An Exhibition by the National Library of Medicine. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2002.
General Collection PR5397.F73 F75 2002

Published in conjunction with the exhibition organized by the History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine.

 

Marshall, Timothy. Murdering to Dissect: Graverobbing, Frankenstein, and the Anatomy of Literature. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996.
 General Collection PR 5397 .F73 M35 1995

                Focuses on the Anatomy Act of 1832, which ended the grave-robbing trade by permitting the use of unclaimed pauper bodies for dissection, and argues that Frankenstein and the Anatomy Act can be seen as twins, one in the world of the imagination, the other in the realm of legislation.

Mellor, Anne K. Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters. New York: Methuen, 1988.
General Collection PR 5398 .M4 1988

 

                An analysis of Mary Shelley's life and works which draws on unpublished archival material as well as Frankenstein and examines her relationship with her husband and other key personalities.

 

 

Link to the Events page for details on Dr. Caroline ( Kay) Picart's lecture at UCF scheduled for Wednesday, November 17, 2004 at 7 pm.

 

Picart, Caroline. The Cinematic Rebirths of Frankenstein: Universal, Hammer, and Beyond. New York: Praeger, 2001.
General Collection PN 1995.9 .F8 P52 2002

 

                Showcases the versatility of the Frankenstein myth as expressed in the horror genre and provides a sustained critical analysis of the story's evolution over many decades, many studios, and many different styles of filmmaking.

 

Picart, Caroline. Remaking the Frankenstein Myth on Film: Between Laughter and Horror . Albany: State University of New York Press, c2003.
General Collection PN1995.9.F8 P54 2003

Explores how filmmakers and screenwriters have used comedy and science fiction to extend the boundaries of the Frankenstein narrative.

Picart, Caroline, Jayne Blodgett, and Frank Smoot. A Frankenstein Film Sourcebook. New York: Greenwood Press, 2001.

                Reference PN 1995.9 .F8 P53 2001

 

                A compilation of primary and secondary information on the numerous film incarnations of the Frankenstein narrative, ranging across horror, comedy, science fiction, pornography, and animation.

 

Sunstein, Emily W. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: Romance and Reality. Boston: Little, Brown, 1989.

                General Collection PR 5398 .S86 1989

 

                Examines Mary Shelley's writings in the light of her life: her intellectually stimulating childhood; her tempestuous eight years with Shelley, as lover and then wife; and nearly three decades as author, literary personality, mother and, to a large extent, social outcast.

 

Science in Society 

Aylett, Ruth. Robots: Bringing Intelligent Machines to Life? Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron’s, 2002.
General Collection TJ 211 .A94 2002

The past, present, and future stories of robots and Artificial Intelligence, more commonly known as AI are discussed. Also describes the current state of computer and robot technology, and points out the challenges inherent in teaching a machine to "think" and make decisions.

Downey, Gary Lee, and Joseph Dumit, eds. Cyborgs and Citadels: Anthropological Interventions in Emerging Sciences and Technologies. Santa Fe, N.M.: School of American Research Press, 1997.
General Collection Q 175.5 .C93 1997

                 Eleven essays explore such questions as the problem of how science gains authority to direct truth practices; the boundaries between humans and machines; how science, technology, and medicine contribute to the fashioning of everyday lives and selves.

 Evans, John Hyde. Playing God? Human Genetic Engineering at the Rationalization of Public Bioethical Debate. Morality and Society series. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.
General Collection QH 438.7 .E935 2002

                Argues that religious voices have been marginalized in the public debates over the human genome project and links the rise of bioethics as a professional discipline and the work of bioethicists on governmental commissions with the desire of scientists to find some way of avoiding scrutiny by theologians.

Holton, Gerald, and Robert S. Morison, eds. The Limits of Scientific Inquiry. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1979.
General Collection
Q 158.5 .L55 1979

                 First published in 1978 in the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A series of essays by scientists, historians, and philosophers discussing such topics as “Concerns about Science and Attempts to Regulate Inquiry,” “Freedom and Risk,” “Threats and Promises: Negotiating the Control of Research,” and “From the Endless Frontier to the Ideology of Limits.”

 Kass, Leon R., and James Q. Wilson. The Ethics of Human Cloning. Washington, D.C.: AEI Press, 1998.
General Collection QH 442.2 .K37 1998.

One of the best introductions to the ethical debate over human cloning currently available. While both authors share a fundamental distrust of the notion of human cloning, they base their reticence on differing views of the role of sexual reproduction and the role of the family.  

Lambrecht, Bill. Dinner at the New Gene Café: How Genetic Engineering is Changing What We Eat, How We Live, and the Global Politics of Food. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2001.
General Collection TP 248.65 .F66 L35 2001 

            Covers in detail the history of research into the genetic engineering of plants, the reception of its new products among several farmers in Illinois, and the public-relations and political battles that  are swirling around "Frankenfood," to use its critics' pejorative. 

Malik, Kenan. Man, Beast, and Zombie: What Science Can and Cannot Tell Us about Human Nature. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2000.

                General Collection BF 701 .M26 2000

 

                Draws on cutting-edge sciences such as evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, and artificial intelligence to assess what, precisely, science can and cannot explain about human nature and, in so doing, analyzes the complex relationship between human beings, animals, and machines to explore what really makes us human.

 

O’Mahony, Mary. Cyborg: The Man-Machine. New York: Thames and Hudson, 2002.

                General Collection TA 167 .O43 2002

 

                A history of both the fictional and factual metamorphoses of humankind, from werewolves to cloning, from Frankenstein's monster to the scientist whose arm is controlled by another's thoughts, from the enhanced humans of science fiction to Cog, the robot sensitive to human moods.

 

Rollin, Bernard E. Frankenstein Syndrome: Ethical and Social Issues in the Genetic Engineering of Animals. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

                General Collection QH 442.6 .R65 1995

 

                Discusses the moral and social issues raised by genetically engineering animals and the major implications for society.

 

Sappol, Michael. A Traffic of Dead Bodies: Anatomy and Embodied Social Identity in Nineteenth-Century America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002.

                General Collection RA 619 .S37 2002

 

Explores the politics of anatomical studies in nineteenth-century America. Covers such issues as the legacies of belief about the "personhood" of the dead human body; the status of anatomy as both a legitimate and valuable study and also as an "icon of science"; the relationship of dissection and anatomy study to medical status and professionalization; the political tensions engendered by the "traffic in dead bodies" that most often accepted corpses from marginalized communities; and the relationship of anatomy studies to sexual commerce and sensationalist fiction.

 

Wingerson, Lois. Unnatural Selection: The Promise and the Power of Human Gene Research. New York: Bantam Books, 1998.

                General Collection QH 438.7 .W56 1998

 

                Examines genetic testing, especially in pregnancy, geneticists' work (concentrating on the Human Genome Project), and how genetic research may affect human ethnic diversity.

  

Science in Art and Culture 

Alkon, Paul K. Science Fiction Before 1900: Imagination Discovers Technology. New York: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1994.
General Collection PN 3433.5 .A45 1994 

                An overview of the evolution and early history of science fiction. 

Haynes, Roslynn D. From Faust to Strangelove: Representations of the Scientist in Western Literature. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.
General Collection PN 56.5 .S35 H39 1994 

                Studies the evolution of representations of scientists in Western literature and film from the Middle Ages to the present, illustrating how fictional images have coalesced to produce archetypes such as the alchemist, the stupid virtuoso, the heroic adventurer, and the helpless scientist. Discusses the cultural assumptions underlying the words "scientist" and "science." 

Jones, Caroline A., Peter Galison, eds., with Amy Slaton. Picturing Science, Producing Art.  New York: Routledge, 1998.
General Collection N 72 .S3 P53 1998 

                Examines the image-making and knowledge-producing areas that are shared by science and art, and explores the links between systems of visual representation and knowledge in science and art.               

Nelkin, Dorothy, and M. Susan Lindee. The DNA Mystique: The Gene as Cultural Icon. New York: Freeman, 1995.
General Collection QH 430 .N46 1995 

                A compendium of "folklore" documenting images of the "gene" in contemporary American popular culture. Examines diverse intersections between current social issues and ideas about genetic determinism. The main chapters are informative surveys of such topics as eugenics, gender, sexuality, familial relations, and social behaviors (such as “criminal genes”). 

Skal, David J. The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror. New York: Faber and Faber, 2001.
General Collection
PN 1995.9 .H6 S57 2001 

                A study of the visual horror genre from Dr. Caligari to Dr. Hannibal Lecter. 

Turney, Jon. Frankenstein’s Footsteps: Science, Genetics, and Popular Culture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.

General Collection Q 175.5 .T87 1998

* Online version

 

Offers a valuable exploration of many  of the themes pursued in the exhibit “Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature.”

 

von Helmholtz, Hermann. Science and Culture: Popular and Philosophical Essays. Edited and with an introduction by David Cahan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.
General Collection Q 174.8 .H45 1995

 

A collection of 15 of Helmholtz's (1821-1894) popular lectures delivered from the 1850s to the 1890s, seeking to enlighten the leaders of European society about the potential benefits of science and technology. Provides at least one view of science during the nineteenth century, the century during which Frankenstein was published, a time when science played an increasingly significant role in social, economic, and cultural life.

 

Community, Belonging to Community, and the Outsider

Putnam, Robert D. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000.
General Collection HN 65 .P878 2000

Argues that the organized ways in which people relate to one another and partake in civil life in the U.S. has deteriorated over the past two decades.

Williams, Kipling D. Ostracism: The Power of Silence. New York: Guilford Press, 2001.
General Collection HM 1131 .W55 2001

 Examines the causes and consequences of ostracism.


Gothic and Horror Literature and Art

Andriano, Joseph D. Immortal Monster: The Mythological Evolution of the Fantastic Beast in Modern Fiction and Film. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1999.
General Collection PS 374 .M544 A53 1999

Explores both literary and cinematic texts that are especially explicit in their Darwinian portrayal of monstrous beasts. 

Baldick, Chris. In Frankenstein’s Shadow: Myth, Monstrosity, and Nineteenth-Century Writing. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
General Collection PR 5397 .F73 B3 1987 

Examines Mary Shelley's novel as a modern myth and discusses themes associated with Frankenstein as they appear in other nineteenth-century works of fiction. 

Bann, Stephen, ed. Frankenstein, Creation, and Monstrosity. London: Reaktion Books, 1994.
General Collection PR 5397 .F73 F69 1994 

Contains a series of essays discussing such topics as the traditional link between scientific experiment and natural magic, the difference between "creation" and "production," and the place of the monster in Western visual culture.

 

Bayer-Berenbaum , Linda. The Gothic Imagination: Expansion in Gothic Literature and Art. Rutherford, N.J. : Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1982.

                General Collection PR 830 .T3 B39 1982

 

                Demonstrates the connection between Gothic literature and art by analyzing the plot patterns, characters, and settings in Gothic stories and the construction and motifs of Gothic art from a stylistic, historical, and psychological approach.

               

Becker, Susanne. Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions.  Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1999.

                General Collection PR 830 .T3 B43 1999

 

                A study of the powers of Gothic in late twentieth-century fiction and film, arguing that the Gothic, two hundred years after it emerged, exhibits unchanged vitality in the media age.

 

Tropp, Martin. Images of Fear: How Horror Stories Helped Shape Modern Culture, 1818-1918. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland and Co., 1990.

                General Collection PR 830 .T3 T76 1990

 

                Examines such novels as Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula and argues that the myths embodied in the books gave people a safe way to confront modern fears, such as the impact of new technology on society, also taking shape at that time.

 

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