Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature

Speaker Contact Information

Susan E. Lederer, curator
Susan E. Lederer curated the traveling version of "Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature" and the National Library of Medicine exhibition of the same name which was on display at the NLM in 1997-1998. She also wrote the catalog for the NLM exhibition. Dr. Lederer is currently a professor in the Section of the History of Medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. She was formerly a tenured associate professor in the History of Medicine Division at the Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine. She is a member of the editorial boards for Medical Humanities Review and Social History of Medicine. Among her publications are Subjected to Science: Human Experimentation in America before the Second World War and Experimentation and Ethics in The Cambridge History of Science, Vol. 6.

Betty T. Bennett, literature consultant
Betty T. Bennett, Distinguished Professor of Literature at American University, Washington, D.C., is currently completing a comprehensive biography of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's life set in the context of the social, political, and scientific events of her era. Her many books and essays about Mary Shelley include her editions of the three-volume Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the Selected Letters of Mary Shelley, and Mary Shelley in her Times (co-editor Stuart Curran). She is also the author of Mary Diana Dods, A Gentleman and a Scholar, in which she uncovers a 170-year-old secret adventure in which Mary Shelley helped Dods to defy the social mores of the time by passing as a man, and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: An Introduction.

Stuart Curran, comparative literature scholar
Stuart Curran, Vartan Gregorian Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, is finishing an electronic edition of Frankenstein that reproduces a number of texts from the two decades before the novel was published testifying to the extraordinary advances in the physical sciences made possible by the invention of the electric battery in 1800. He has recently written an essay focusing on these advances, their relevance to the novel, and Mary Shelley's association with William Nicholson, one of the major experimentors in electro-chemistry: The Scientific Grounding of Frankenstein, published in Mary vs. Mary, Lilla Crisafulli, ed. (Naples: Liguori, 2001). He co-edited Mary Shelley in Her Times with Betty T. Bennett, and edited The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism.