“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” ― Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein
In May of 1816, author Mary Shelley and several literary friends took refuge at a Lake Geneva villa in Switzerland. When volcanic ash clouded the global skies, the world witnessed waves of famine as starvation and a cholera plague ravaged Europe. The party was hoping to find a brief respite from what has come to be known as the “The Year Without a Summer.” Shelley’s dreams of a vacation were soon crushed as frightful storms trapped them inside the house for days on end. To pass the time, English poet Lord Byron challenged the group to compose ghost stories. It was in this context of global crisis and quarantine that Shelley imagined Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, a gothic novel that many critics argue is the first true science fiction story. During a time of uncertainty, Shelley was able to reinvent herself as one of England’s most renowned novelists from the 19th century.
Considering the way in which Mary Shelley created Frankenstein out of this time of crisis, the Logos Committee is sponsoring a self-reflection event to give students the opportunity to create their own ghost story project. Our goal is to ignite a dialogue of discussion, creativity, and sharing.
“How mutable are our feelings, and how strange is that clinging love we have of life even in the excess of misery!” ― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
We invite you to use any creative medium to characterize your path through this past year of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Think about the following questions as you develop your project:
- What has helped you deal with or forget about Covid?
- How have you reinvented yourself?
- What was a positive that came out of this last year?
- How have the challenges of the past year made you reflect on choices in your life?
We would like you to frame your reflection around a “ghost story”. It could be scary, spiritual, inspirational or anything that you can imagine. Your creativity is the only limit. You can create your “story” in any of the following mediums: (Some ‘how to’ links are included.)
- Short Story
- Shadow Box / Assemblage
- Or whatever medium ignites your creativity
Entries will be judged anonymously by an interdisciplinary panel composed of MACC Faculty and Staff. Prizes will be awarded in the form of four $25 gift cards to Amazon. Winners will be announced before finals week of the spring semester.