2018 marks the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein, but it also marks nearly two decades since the concept of the Anthropocene was proposed as a new strata—marking a threshold, where humans as a species have altered the earth at a geological level. Frankenstein might seem to be the anti-Promethean manifesto for our time, warning us against playing God, asking us to be more mindful of the moral presence of nature. There is, however, a hyper-Promethean way in which we might read Shelley’s Frankenstein. Rather, than take on Victor Frankenstein’s moral anguish that he was guilty of over-reaching, perhaps we should look at the world from the point of view of the orphaned creature, whose only thought of life is not survival, procreation, and longevity: not living on, but living with nature.
A reception will precede the lecture at 5:30 p.m.