Frankenstein Penetrating the Secrets of Nature

Additional exhibits are developed locally to explore topics related to the traveling exhibit. Eastern scholars have collaborated with Bev Cruse, who assisted them as graphic designer and oversaw the production of each display.

Big Screams from the Big Screen
Horror films provide audiences the opportunity to experience vicariously the visceral fears of humankind. Viewing these films, the moviegoers can simultaneously fear and sympathize with the monsters while being entertained and frightened. Tracing the evolution of monster movies from silent films to the present day, this exhibit showcases the studios, producers, directors, actors, and technology that bring the monsters to life.

Jocelyn Tipton, assistant professor, Booth Library;and
Carl Lorber, professor, Booth Library; curators (library atrium)

The Bogeyman Under the Bed – Why Children Need Monsters
Why are children afraid of monsters? This exhibit examines childhood fears and discusses their usefulness in helping people deal with the difference between fantasy and reality, power and control.

Ann Brownson, associate professor, Booth Library, curator (Ballenger Teachers Center)

Franken-Kitsch – Frankenstein Collectibles and Memorabilia
Frankenstein mugs, action figures, models, trading cards, and more! See the kinds of items that have been produced and distributed using the image of Frankenstein.

Ann Brownson, associate professor, Booth Library, curator (Reading Room, 4000 south)


Are genetically modified foods and organisms safe for human and animal consumption or are they a real and present danger to human beings, animals, plant life, and the environment? This exhibit will examine genetically modified organisms and the questions and concerns surrounding them.

Ann Fritz, assistant professor, biological sciences; and
Ann Brownson
, associate professor, Booth Library, curators (Reference Gallery)

Frankenstein’s Daughters: Women Science Fiction Writers
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, published in 1818, is generally considered to be the first true science fiction novel. This exhibit introduces ten contemporary women writers of science fiction, celebrating their achievements and presenting some of their best-known works. Profiled are Kage Baker, Octavia Butler, C.J. Cherryh, Suzette Haden Elgin, Tanith Lee, Ursula K. Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Sheri S. Tepper, and Joan D. Vinge.

Janice Derr, instructor, Booth Library; and
Sarah Johnson
, assistant professor, Booth Library, curators (Marvin Foyer)

How Dare You Sport Thus With Life? – Frankenstein Science
Dr. Frankenstein created a human from parts of dead human bodies, and we called him a monster. Sooner or later a human may be cloned as was Dolly, the sheep. What will we call it - a human being or a clone-being? Whether born or cloned, one thing common to both is that they come to the world not by their own will. We know not what the future will bring, but once we cross the river, we may not be able to return. This exhibit explores the history of cloning and related issues.

Nackil Sung, professor, Booth Library; and
Jan Sung
, assistant professor, Booth Library, curators
(Marvin Foyer)

It was a Dark and Stormy Night
Step into the Villa Diodati, the residence of Lord Byron where the idea of Frankenstein was born, and become acquainted with Mary Shelly. Visitors will also encounter some of the moral and ethical issues raised by the novel.

Stacey Knight-Davis, assistant professor, Booth Library, curator (north lobby)

Monster Bash
Capturing the exuberant spirit of children’s imagination is the theme of this artistic exhibit. While working on their artistic interpretations of monsters, students from Mattoon Middle School examined these questions as they created their works of art: What makes a monster? Where do monsters reside? Why do we fear monsters? and, Why do we enjoy the shivers that they give us?

Jamie Willis, art instructor, Mattoon Middle School; and
Jeanne Goble, library associate, Booth Library, curators (Periodical Gallery, 1000 north)

Monstrous Themes in Art
From time immemorial, artists and artisans throughout the world have conjured up monsters, grotesque figures, and other bizarre images to represent the frightening, unexplainable, or imponderable undercurrents of their lives and cultures. Focusing upon some of these images as
reflected in a variety of art forms and materials, this exhibit suggests how widespread and pervasive the use of such images has been over time.

Robert Hillman, professor, Booth Library; and
Marlene Slough
, associate professor, Booth Library, curators (south lobby)

More than Frankenstein: The Career of Boris Karloff
Made famous through his portrayal of the monster in three Frankenstein movies, actor Boris Karloff had a long, award-winning career. Working predominantly in the horror genre, he portrayed a string of murderers, monsters, and villains in major motion pictures, B movies, and television shows as well as in radio and on the stage. This exhibit provides a brief biography of Karloff and an illustrated overview of his acting career.

Bradley Tolppanen, associate professor, Booth Library, curator (lounge, 4000 south)

Open Student Art Show
Examining the themes and ideas associated with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Eastern Illinois University advanced painting students have created original works to be included in this exhibit. The works span the range from scientific and medical discovery to related contemporary issues.

Chris Kahler, associate professor of art, curator (Periodical Gallery, 1000 north)

Robotics, Androids, Machine Control, and Artificial Intelligence
This display shows selected examples of real and Hollywood robots, robotic models, and related computerized machines. The relationship between androids, robots, and artificial intelligence is explored. Automated stealth aircraft technology is included.

Sam Guccione, assistant professor, School of Technology with his students from INT4274 automation and control course and students from Eastern’s Chapter 151 of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, curators (Reference Gallery)

The Shelley Circle
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, spent her life in the company of other great thinkers and poets. The daughter of pioneering proto-feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (who died of complications from childbirth) and radical philosopher William Godwin, she eloped with Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley at the age of sixteen. For the next eight years, the Shelleys lived a nomadic existence, experimenting with free love and traveling across Europe, Italy in particular. Included in their circle were such notable contemporaries as Lord Byron, John Keats, Leigh Hunt, Thomas Love Peacock, Claire Clairmont, Thomas Jefferson Hogg, and Edward John Trelawny, among many others.

David Bell, associate professor, Booth Library, curator (Marvin Foyer)

Thieves in the Night
The history of grave robbing examines the fascinating and disturbing accounts of body snatching in England and the United States. Before medical schools had access to enough legal cadavers for anatomical study, they were forced to resort to this ghoulish act in order to supply the needs of
their students. Robbing the graves themselves, or paying professional resurrection men for stolen corpses, the practice so alarmed society that many took extreme measures to protect the sanctity and respect of their recently departed loved ones. It proved such a problem, that eventually Parliament and the state governments passed legislation which allowed the schools access to more
legal cadavers, thus eliminating the need to take them from fresh graves.

Jason Meyers, Curator of Collections, Museum of Funeral Customs, curator (Marvin Foyer)

Workshop of Filthy Creation
An interpretation of Victor Frankenstein’s laboratory in the Orkney Islands where a female creature was constructed and later destroyed. We see the creation as a work in progress, draped in secrecy. Candles illuminate the grisly paraphernalia used in Victor’s ill-fated labor.

Stacey Knight-Davis, assistant professor, Booth Library, curator (north lobby)