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Franken Fridays to celebrate anniversary of Mary Shelley's novel 'Frankenstein'

Anita Turlington, associate professor of English at UNG, and Dr. Diana Edelman, associate professor of English at UNG, developed Franken Fridays as a way to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of "Frankenstein."

After Anita Turlington participated in a panel titled "Frankenstein: Creation and Consequences" for the University of North Georgia's (UNG) inaugural Science Festival in spring 2018 in conjunction with the Dahlonega Literary Festival, she and other UNG faculty members were inspired to create a similar experience.

Turlington, associate professor of English at UNG, and Dr. Diana Edelman, associate professor of English at UNG, developed a similar event to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of "Frankenstein."

"Lots of schools in the U.S. and around the world scheduled their ceremonies in the spring," Turlington said. "We wanted to take advantage of the energy of the fall semester and Halloween."

Coined "Franken Fridays," events will take place every Friday in October on all campuses. For example, one event will feature a guided tour of Mount Hope Cemetery near UNG's Dahlonega Campus coupled with readings of excerpts from the novel, said BJ Robinson, one of the members of the planning committee, professor of English and director of UNG Press. On the Gainesville Campus, Drema Montgomery, a visiting artist who creates art by assembling it with various found objects, will demonstrate her work and correlate it to Dr. Frankenstein's manufacturing the monster.

"And of course during the course of the semester, we will have a monster-themed poetry contest," Edelman said, adding the top three winners will have their entries published in The Chestatee Review.


Mary Shelley wrote "Frankenstein" in the 19th century.

Kicking off Franken Fridays will be an Oct. 5 lecture by Anne Williams, professor of English emeritus of the University of Georgia and author of "Art of Darkness: A Poetics of Gothic." She will speak about "Frankenstein's Originality" from 11 a.m. to noon in the Cleveland Ballroom in the Martha T. Nesbitt building on the Gainesville Campus. Then she will deliver the same lecture from 2-3 p.m. in Hoag Auditorium on the Dahlonega Campus, which will be broadcast to the Oconee and Cumming Campuses. A reception will follow the second lecture.

Edelman said the character of Frankenstein is an ideal character who can be studied by various academic subjects such as science, technology and film. For example, technological science can discuss the extension of life regarding the Frankenstein creature. Film students can examine the different movies spawned by the novel. And all students can also discuss the different themes illustrated through the monster.

"The creature can stand in for any identities labeled as 'other,' not one of us and not in the majority," Edelman said.

Franken Friday events

Friday, Oct. 5:

"Frankenstein's Originality" by Anne Williams of University of Georgia

  • 11 a.m. to noon Cleveland Ballroom, Nesbitt 3110, Gainesville Campus
  • 2-3 p.m. Hoag Auditorium, Dahlonega Campus (reception to follow)
  • 2-3 p.m. Student Resource Center 581, Oconee Campus (broadcast from Dahlonega)
  • 2-3 p.m. Cumming Campus (broadcast from Dahlonega)


Friday, Oct. 12

  • Film screenings of 1931 "Frankenstein" and selections from Films on Demand by Drs. Melissa Schindler and Ann Marie Francis and co-sponsored with the Student Government Association, Forsyth County Library (1931 film) and classroom on Cumming Campus
  • "The Many Faces of Frankenstein" film presentation by Dr. Candice Wilson of UNG and Dr. Tobias Wilson-Bates of Georgia Tech, Gainesville, 1 pm, Library 134
  • David Plunkert, illustrator of the commemorative edition of "Frankenstein," will meet students at 9 a.m. in Hansford Hall on the Dahlonega Campus.
  • From "Frankenstein" to Fake News: A brief history of science fiction by Derek Thiess at UNG, Student Resource Center 311, Oconee Campus


Friday, Oct. 19:

  • Frankenstein-themed rock art by World Literature II students, noon to 4 p.m. at Forsyth County Library and Cumming Campus
  • Visiting artist Drema Montgomery, 11 a.m. to noon, Library 134, Gainesville Campus
  • English faculty panel including Dr. Diana Edelman, Anita Turlington and Dr. Kasee Laster, 1 p.m. Library 134, Gainesville Campus
  • The Many Faces of Frankenstein: media and roundtable discussion with Drs. Dan Cabaniss, Stephanie Rountree and Shane Toepfer, Student Resource Center 311, Oconee Campus


Friday, Oct. 26

  • PoeDown and costume contest, noon to 3 p.m., upstairs lobby, Cumming Campus
  • "Secrets from the Grave" guided tour of Mount Hope Cemetery by Thomas Scanlin, 3-5 p.m., Mount Hope Cemetery, Dahlonega Campus
  • "Monster Theory" faculty panel featuring Dr. Jeff Pardue, Dr. Phil Guerty, Dr. Patsy Worrall; noon Library 134, Gainesville Campus
  • "Frankenstein and Posthumanism" faculty panel featuring Dr. Lynn Berdanier, Dr. John Hamilton, Dr. Jeanelle Morgan, and Dr. Kristin Yager, 11 a.m. Library 134, Gainesville Campus


Additional Frankenstein celebration events

Thursday, Oct. 11

  • Plunkert will give a talk and sign his book from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on the stage in the Student Center, Gainesville Campus.
  • Plunkert will present his creative process in illustrating the gothic novel and 200th anniversary edition of Frankenstein with modern influences, 5:30 p.m. in the Rare Books Room, Library and Technology Center, Dahlonega Campus
  • Monster in the Music of Mary Shelley’s romantic period, aria performance by Dr. Benjamin Schoening, chairman of the UNG music department, 6 p.m. Library and Technology Center, Dahlonega Campus


Thursday, Oct. 18

  • Birthday Party for Mary Shelley’s Creature and a reading by Scott Fugate, 3:30 p.m., Library, Dahlonega


Tuesday, Oct. 23

  • PoeDown, 8-10 p.m. Hoag Great Room, Dahlonega


Wednesday, Oct. 24

  • PoeDown, 6-9 p.m. Nesbitt 3110A, Gainesville


Wednesday, Oct. 31

  • Frankenstein and horror trivia by Cumming Student Government Association, Cumming Campus

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