Amazing Geneva conference!


I just got back from the amazing conference in Geneva last week, “Frankenstein, le demiurge des Lumières,” organized by Olinda Testori and Michel Porret of the Université de Genève.

Here’s the conference link for all you Frankenstein fans.

Excitement is definitely mounting as the celebration of the bicentennial of Frankenstein‘s publication in 1818 is now getting underway. The Geneva event celebrated the origins of the masterpiece at Villa Diodati in summer 1816, when an unseasonal cold front forced everybody to stay indoors, and before you know it a ghost-story contest got underway.

I presented a 20-minute (strictly respected–oh, those Swiss!), paper on “L’Histoire du Frankenstein français et de l’androïde littéraire : quel avenir pour Homo sapiens?”
My paper is in a very rough version, but as soon as it is presentable, I’ll post it on, in case anybody wants to enjoy learning about the “French Frankenstein” (that is, Nogaret’s novella of 1790) or has any (gentle, signed) corrections/suggestions for me before the article is due, early in the new year, for the expected volume.

The conference papers marked the convergence of a variety of disciplines–science fiction, film history, artificial intelligence (and its new doppelgänger, what Michael Lewis, in _The Undoing Project_, calls “natural stupidity”), gender studies, British, French, and German literary history, history of science, and robotics, among others. Outstanding lectures were enjoyed by all! All through the four days of lectures, we continued to be delighted by the new perspectives brought by each participant. It is rather uncanny, I think, that there was absolutely no repetition among the 30-some papers.

Many thanks to the organizers and participants for what was truly an unforgettable experience. I brought my talk to an unconventional ending by offering to both the organizers a pillow à la Frankenstein, and a copy of the book-in-production, Le Frankenstein du cageot à pommes,* both of which will soon form part of the repertoire of Honey Girl Books and Gifts, at its launch in 2018. Stay tuned for more exciting news on that!

*Translated by Vincent Jauneau and illustrated by Karen Neis. English title: The Frankenstein of the Apple Crate.

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