Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Or The Modern Prometheus was first published in 1818. My article “Unmaking People: The Politics of Negation in Frankenstein and Ex Machina” was selected for publication in a special issue of Science Fiction Studies (2018). The journal cerebrates the novel’s bicentennial by featuring work that explores the complexities of Frankenstein and its lasting effects in popular culture.
You can read more about my approach and download the article below.
Two hundred years after its first publication, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus presents an interesting paradox: it is pervasive in its impact, while often remaining misread, or even unread.
Although Shelley’s novel centers around the artificial construction of a new man, it contains scenes of both animation and de-animation. The novel remains relevant today in the insights it provides into how political categories of being are codified in the modern era. As the monster was first made through science and then unmade through social and political rejection, so too are people made and unmade through legal and social processes, colonial projects, racial epistemologies, and other forms of oppression. This paper explores how the discourse of the artificial person specializes in defining and often policing the limits of the human by pulling from Frankenstein and contemporary science fiction texts like Ex Machina.
You can download the article here:
Citation: “Unmaking People: The Politics of Negation from Frankenstein to Ex Machina.” In Science Fiction Studies, Special Bicentennial Issue on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. 45:2 (July 2018): 289-307.