Technologies of Frankenstein: 1818-2018 (7-9 March 2018, Stevens Institute of Technology)

Robin Hammerman's picture
Call for Papers
October 15, 2017
New Jersey, United States
Subject Fields: 
British History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Humanities, Literature

Call for Papers

Technologies of Frankenstein: 1818-2018 

7-9 March 2018, Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, New Jersey USA)

Co-sponsors: Stevens Institute of Technology and IEEE History Center

The 200th anniversary year of the first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus has drawn worldwide interest in revisiting the novel’s themes. What were those themes and what is their value to us in the early twenty-first century? Mary Shelley was rather vague as to how Victor, a young medical student, managed to reanimate a person cobbled together from parts of corpses. The imagination of the novel’s readership outfitted Victor’s laboratory with the chemical and electrical technologies that brought the creature to life. Subsequent theatrical and cinematic versions of Frankenstein have been, like the creature, patched together from the novel and from contemporary popular press as well as public demonstrations of medical, chemical, and electrical research. Mary Shelley’s contemporaries arguably exploited her novel to their own purposes, including George Canning (leader of the British House of Commons in 1824) who drew an analogy between the prospect of freeing West Indian slaves and Victor’s “monster” who is left in the world with no master to curtail his criminal instincts. Some of Mary Shelley’s biographers characterize the story of Victor Frankenstein’s reanimation experiment as a cautionary tale against techno-science run amok while others emphasize Victor’s irresponsible behavior toward his subject. In what ways might our tools of science and communication serve as an “elixir of life” since the age of Frankenstein? Topic areas include and are not limited to items on the list below. For more information about the conference and to register please visit




  • Branding “Frankenstein” (Food, Comics, Gaming, Music, Theater, Film)

  • Computational and Naval Technology (Mapping, Navigation, The Idea of the Journey)

  • Digital Humanities and GeoHumanities (Applications, Pedagogy, Library/Information Technology)

  • Engineering Technologies: Past/Present/Future (Chemical, Electrical, Biomedical)

  • Future Technologies and Labor Concerns

  • How might industrialized nations develop low-cost solutions to provide maternal and pediatric care in regions with limited medical facilities?

  • How are our ideas of the “Monstrous” or “Other” changing since the publication of Frankenstein?

  • Is the pharmaceutical industry using human consumers as experiments for profit?

  • What ethical and legal issues will emerge in the age of advanced or “aware” artificial intelligence?

  • What does it mean to be human?

  • What is the responsibility of government in world-wide health care?

  • Who is responsible for the outcomes of techno-science?

  • Who should have access to advanced human enhancement technologies and why?

Submit inquires and/or abstracts of 300 words with brief cv by 15 October 2017 to Michael Geselowitz ( and Robin Hammerman (

We are dedicated to a harassment-free conference experience for everyone.



Contact Info: 

Michael Geselowitz (IEEE History Center) and Robin Hammerman (Stevens Institute of Technology, College of Arts and Letters)

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