Pimple on Frankenstein

It is time, once again, to celebrate one of academia’s most memorable courses:

Frankenstein in America: Science, Technology, and Values in the United States,” American Studies Program, Indiana University (1997).

A202, Section 0343, Spring 1997
Kenneth D. Pimple, Ph.D.
Tuesday-Thursday 8:00-9:15 am, Ballantine Hall 333


The name “Frankenstein” evokes the very clear image of a monster created by a mad scientist. But the title character of Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus, is not the monster, but the scientist. The novel is a touchstone for attitudes toward science and technology in the modern era, exploring the wondrous promise of science as well as its potential dangers, including its significant moral dangers.

Science and technology have a pervasive and intimate impact on American life, and no one course can hope to touch on all aspects of the topic. In this course, we will examine a few intriguing texts to explore the intersection between values, science, and technology.

Students who take this course will (a) learn about the relationship between science, technology, and values as expressed in a number of works of American literature and folklore; (b) explore their own attitudes toward science and values, and the place of science and technology in their own lives; (c) improve their ability to work collaboratively as a member of a team; (d) improve their critical thinking skills; and (e) improve their writing skills.