Approaches to Teaching Shelley’s Frankenstein
- Editor: Stephen C. Behrendt
- Pages: x & 190 pp.
- Published: 1990
- ISBN: 9780873525404 (Paperback)
“An eminently readable collection of essays. . . . Although the [Approaches] series is directed at college-level teachers, the essays could be easily read by undergraduates.”
“I have used Frankenstein for many years in both Romantic Literature and Science Fiction courses and thought I knew a fair amount about the book. After reading Behrendt’s anthology, however, I shall approach class discussions with new enthusiasm and new insights. Indispensable for anyone planning to use this book in class.”
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is both a literary work very much rooted in its age and a cultural artifact that transcends period. “Undeniably one of the great and influential works of the English Romantic period,” writes the editor, Stephen C. Behrendt, the novel provides “an excellent vehicle for introducing students to the complexities of Romantic art and thought.” At the same time, as this volume demonstrates, Frankenstein is often studied in college and secondary school courses focusing not on Romanticism but on science fiction, Gothic fiction, women’s literature, or film and popular culture.
The book, like others in the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, is divided into two parts. The first part, “Materials,” reviews editions of Frankenstein, discusses reference and critical works and recommended reading for students, and lists selected film versions of the novel. In the second part, “Approaches,” instructors present classroom strategies for teaching the novel. The essays are divided into four groupings: general issues (e.g., choosing a text, gender and pedagogy, language and style), contexts of study (e.g., biography, Romanticism), course contexts (e.g., science fiction, women’s studies, composition), and Frankenstein and film.