Frankenreads: A Celebration of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Amherst, MA – As 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the Jones Library celebrates her contribution to literature and the arts with special programming for all ages during the month of October in conjunction with Frankenreads, an international celebration of all things Frankenstein.

Frankenreads is a project of the Keats-Shelley Association of America, funded by a Chairman’s grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus (1818) by encouraging people around the world to organize or participate in events celebrating the novel.  For more information, please visit

Programming begins with a Frankenstein Film Festival, which will take place on alternating Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7 pm throughout the month, with the first screening on Tuesday, October 2.  For the complete program of film titles, pick up a flyer on your next visit to the library or visit the library’s website at for more details on the program series.  All the films are rated PG or not rated.

On Saturday, October 27 at 2:30 pm, Dr. Elizabeth Young presents “Black Frankenstein”, in which she explores the racial connotations of the Frankenstein story in the United States over the last two centuries. She will show how authors, artists, and activists — African-American and white — have situated the Frankenstein monster in racial contexts and used the monster’s story for both radical and conservative political purposes. Elizabeth Young is Carl M. and Elsie A. Small Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College.

On Tuesday, October 30 at 7:00 pm, Dr. Lise Sanders presents “Reading Gender and Sexuality in Frankenstein”, a discussion focusing on gender and sexuality in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, drawing on the biographical and historical context of Gothic literature, women’s writing, and feminism in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and reading the novel in light of modern scholarship exploring issues of monstrosity, power, and difference.  Lise Sanders is Professor of English Literature and Cultural Studies at Hampshire College.

The Youth Services Department is offering a range of activities for youngsters, including a Frankenreads Book Club, a Monster Mash Family Dance Party, a family matinée, and a spooky craft.

Complete details can be found at

These events are generously funded by the Friends of the Jones Libraries and the Woodbury Fund. 


Free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Janet Ryan at 413/259-3223.

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