Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature

Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature



PLACE: Arizona Health Sciences Library, 1501 N. Campbell Ave.

COST: Admission is free and the exhibit is open to the public

CONTACT: Gary Freiburger, Arizona Health Sciences Library, (520) 626-6121

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: This release also contains details regarding a film series and a lecture series being held in connection with this exhibit.

Frankenstein is coming to the University of Arizona Health Sciences Library! But instead of fear, the mythic figure should instead invoke deep discussion and examination of our society, culture and science.
Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature is a traveling exhibit that examines Mary Shelly's story, the context in which Shelly created the novel, how popular culture has absorbed the Frankenstein story, and how Frankenstein illuminates the dilemma of defining "acceptable" science and medicine.

Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature was developed by the National Library of Medicine in collaboration with the American Library Association. It has been made possible by major grants from The National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, D.C., and the National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Md. The traveling exhibition is based upon a major exhibition produced by the National Library of Medicine in 1997-1998.

Frankenstein will visit 80 libraries across the nation between October 2002 and December 2005. The exhibit encourages audiences to examine the intent of the Shelly's novel; to discuss personal and societal responsibility as it relates to science and other areas of life; and to examine how the novel uses scientific experimentation as a metaphor to comment on cultural values.

The Arizona Health Sciences Library is planning a number of related activities in conjunction with the traveling exhibit. Working with several experts and partners -- including the UA Departments of English, Humanities, Medicine, College of Medicine Dean's Office, AHSC Office of Pubic Affairs, and others -- the Library is planning an opening public reception, a series of public lectures, a film series, as well as educational events in conjunction with Tucson-area schools and the Tucson Public Library system. (Additional information follows.)

Frankenstein Film Festival Features Five Films For Free!
All films will be shown at noon and 7 p.m., at the Arizona Health Sciences Library, Room 2102. Admission is free and the films are open to the public.

  • Frankenstein (1931 original) 71 minutes
    Thursday, March 13
    British director James Whale is responsible for the indelible image we have of Frankenstein, neck bolts and boots. The recent feature film, Gods and Monsters, was about the making of this film and its sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein. How we "see" the monster is due greatly to Whale's visionary imagination.
  • Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) 83 minutes
    Thursday, March 20
    Hey, it's our spring break feature! Time to lighten up with the monster and pals.
  • Bride of Frankenstein (1935 sequel) 75 minutes
    Thursday, March 27
    Arizona Health Sciences Library, Room 2102
    Whale's 1935 sequel, considered by many to be better than the original. With Boris Karloff as the monster and Elsa Lanchester as his intended.
  • Son of Frankenstein (1939) 100 minutes
    Thursday, April 3
    Director Rowland Lee made this 1939 sequel to the 1931 Whale original. It's 25 years later and Ygor has convinced Dr. Frankenstein to try again. Features Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone and Boris Karloff, reprising his role as the monster. Son of Frankenstein was the inspiration for Mel Brooks' fabulous Young Frankenstein.
  • Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) 123 minutes.
    Thursday, April 10
    Directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Branagh, Robert De Niro and Helena Bonham Carter. According to reviewers from, "Let's be honest: this should be titled `Wretched Excess Frankenstein.' Swooping, wild, bloody and energetic, this is bad moviemaking from the best, which makes it all the more lovable."

Frankenstein Focus of Community Lecture Series
Public Reception: The community is invited to attend a public reception for the Frankenstein exhibit at the AHS Library on Tuesday, March 11, 4-7 p.m. (prior to the first lecture).

  • Mary Shelley's Original Frankenstein: A Focusing of Cultural Anxieties
    Tuesday, March 11, 7 p.m., DuVal Auditorium, UMC, 1501 N. Campbell Ave.
    Jerrold E. Hogle, PhD, Professor, UA Department of English
  • The Bioethical Side Of Frankenstein and Its Implications for the Genomics Research of the Day
    Tuesday, March 18, 7 p.m., DuVal Auditorium
    Jacqueline A Chadwick, MD, Associate Vice President, AHSC Phoenix Campus, Moderator;
    Mary B. Adam, MD, Clinical Lecturer, UA Department of Surgery; David H. Beyda, MD, Division Chief and Medical Director, Pediatric Critical Care, Phoenix Children's Hospital; Charles Daschbach, MD, MPH, Director of Medical Education, St. Joseph's Hospital & Medical Center, Phoenix
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
    Tuesday, March 25, 7 p.m., DuVal Auditorium
    Stuart K. Williams, PhD, Director, UA Biomedical Engineering
  • Frankenstein in Film
    Tuesday, April 1, 7 p.m., DuVal Auditorium
    Susan M. White, PhD, Professor, UA Department of English
    (Part of the UA Faculty Community Lecture Series)
  • Creatures and Corpsicles: The Quest for Immortality
    Thursday, April 10, 7 p.m., DuVal Auditorium
    Kenneth V. Iserson, MD, MBA, Professor, UA Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Medicine and Literature: An Interface of Science and the Arts
    Tuesday, April 15, 7 p.m., DuVal Auditorium
    Joseph S. Alpert, MD, Chairman, UA Department of Medicine; Helle Mathiasen, PhD, Professor, UA Humanities Program