By Miriam Brown ’21
Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” turned 200 this year, and Colorado College was one of almost 700 institutions around the world to participate in its anniversary celebration.
A couple of years ago, members of the Keats-Shelley Association of America created an organization called “Frankenreads” in anticipation of the novel’s bicentennial. The central event was a Halloween marathon reading of “Frankenstein” at the Library of Congress; people in 44 different states and 41 different countries joined in, honoring Shelley’s work with speeches, film screenings, exhibits, discussions, and even musicals.
CC sponsored multiple events this year as a part of the international celebration. The first-year common read this year was “Frankenstein,” so first-year students gathered to listen and participate in discussions about the novel during New Student Orientation. Additionally, there have already been multiple on-campus screenings of various film adaptations.
The star of the celebration was CC’s own read-a-thon event, hosted Wednesday, Oct. 31, in Tutt Library starting at 10 a.m. About 40 different volunteers each read 10-minute sections of the novel aloud, until they completed it cover-to-cover later in the day.
Associate Professor of English Jared Richman, who is currently teaching a course on the novel, hopes that this event taught people more about Shelley and her novel’s legacy.
“It is a novel that takes on a lot of really difficult questions about the nature of creation and power and authority,” Richman says. “And so I hope that folks will use it as a jumping-off place to discuss some very challenging questions and issues that are really still relevant to us today.”