This year’s K-SAA Members’ Meeting took place on May 19th, 2022 and welcomed over 40 audience members from around the world over Zoom. K-SAA President Neil Freistat shared organizational news, including the new officers and members of the board of directors, and Dr. Elizabeth Young (Mount Holyoke College) shared her collection of pop culture Frankensteiniana and discussed her book Black Frankenstein: The Making of An American Metaphor (NYU Press, 2008).
Talk by Dr. Elizabeth Young
Drawing from her book Black Frankenstein, Dr. Young examined how the story of Frankenstein consistently intertwines with slavery, race, and Blackness in U.S. culture, from Nat Turner’s revolt in the 1830s onwards. Mary Shelley’s tale was sometimes used by slavery apologists to reinforce racism, but more often in anti-racist ways as a tool of counter-discourse. Such retellings evoked sympathy for the creature as oppressed and wronged, redirected responsibility to Victor Frankenstein, and justified the monster turning on his creation.
Dr. Young recommended multimedia remixes of Frankenstein to teach alongside the novel, including Victor Lavalle’s Destroyer (2018), Kabe Wilson’s photo mosaic Frankenspine (2015), Kyle Baker’s graphic novel Nat Turner (2008), Glenn Ligon’s painting Study for Frankenstein #1 (1992), and James Whale’s film Bride of Frankenstein (1935).
Check out Dr. Young’s updated, open-access article, “Black Frankenstein at the Bicentennial” (2018), on Common Reader.
Current president Neil Fraistat announced the K-SAA’s new officers and members of our board of directors. The K-SAA and the Communications Team are thrilled to work with these scholars in their new roles, and look forward to the exciting ways our organization will continue develop over the coming years.
The incoming Officers of the K-SAA are as follows:
Deidre Lynch & Omar F. Miranda
Bryonie Carter, Stuart Curran, Elizabeth Denlinger, Neil Fraistat, George Krupp, Deidre Lynch, Omar F. Miranda, Leslie Morris, Olivia Moy, Jonathan Mulrooney, Kate Singer, Emily Sun, Lissette Szwydky, Leila Walker, and Sarah Zimmerman.
Jerome H. Buff, William T. Buice, Doucet Devin Fischer, Robert Hartley, Steven E. Jones, Anthony D. Knerr, Alice Levine, Marsha Manns, Robert M. Ryan, David H. Stam, and Susan J. Wolfson.
The K-SAA would like to extend our warmest thanks and appreciation to our wonderful outgoing President, Prof. Neil Fraistat.
Our thanks also go to outgoing Treasurer, Robert Hartley, and Directors Doucet Devin Fischer, Alice Levine, and Marsha Manns. They will all be joining our board of Honorary Directors, and we are thrilled to have them in our community.
Thanks to our outgoing Director Graham Henderson, whose work our website has been much appreciated.
We are extremely excited to welcome three new Board members: Byronie Carter, Elizabeth Denlinger, and Leila Walker. Please stay tuned for profiles on our new and recent additions to the Board.