NUI Galway Commemorates the Bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Image from Wikimedia Commons
Oct 23 2018 Posted: 10:21 IST

The 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s groundbreaking novel, Frankenstein, will be celebrated this Hallowe’en with a series of free events at NUI Galway and in Galway City. A movie night, staged reading, and public lecture, organised by lecturers and students from the discipline of English at NUI Galway, take place from 30 October to 1 November, joining literary communities across the world in celebrating this most famous, and most misunderstood, of literary monsters.

Events taking place in Galway include:

  • Screening of Young Frankenstein will take place on Tuesday 30 October in the Black Gate Cultural Centre from 5-7pm
  • Staged readings from Frankenstein will take place in the O’Donoghue Theatre, NUI Galway, on Wednesday 31 October from 6-8pm
  • A public lecture entitled, ‘Frankenstein’s Chemistry: Vital Motion and the Science of Life’, will be delivered by Dr Mary Fairclough (York) in the Anatomy Theatre, NUI Galway, on Thursday 1 November from 7-9pm

1818 saw the publication of an anonymous three-volume novel entitled Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus in a small edition of 500 copies. Despite the modest circumstances of its publication, Mary Shelley’s work would become one of the most culturally significant novels of the century, spawning a slew of imitation, adaptations, and dubious Hallowe’en costumes.

Frankenstein is a novel whose cultural significance transcends its original publication. Regularly hailed as the book which launched the genre of science fiction, the story of its composition is also legendary.

Though the novel and its monster have become cultural staples in literature, film, and theatre ever since, the original publication and its story are often misunderstood, unknown, and unread. The aim of Frankenreads NUI Galway is to place Shelley’s novel at the centre of the bicentenary commemorations as well as celebrating its rich and varied afterlife.  

The project is a branch of Frankenreads, the international celebration of the 200th anniversary of the novel for Halloween 2018 organised by the Keats-Shelley Association of America. It is also part of the EXPLORE initiative at NUI Galway, where students and staff collaborate to deliver their innovative ideas and projects. Featuring staff and students from English, Frankenreads NUI Galway is also supported by the University’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Project Fund and by the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies.

Lead NUI Galway student organiser Ciara Glasscott, who is studying for a PhD in English, said: “I’m so excited to be involved in the Frankenreads project because it provides a great opportunity to get more people to engage with Dr Frankenstein and his creature as they were created by Mary Shelley, rather than just as the cultural phenomena they have morphed into over the last two hundred years. As a massive fan of Mary Shelley, I’m so thrilled to get the chance to be involved with a series of events which aim to bring together experts and people with a more casual interest in a celebration of Shelley’s iconic creation.”

For more information on the events taking place around Galway visit Tickets for all events are free, but should be booked in advance at,, or


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