Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule
All Indianapolis Public Library locations will close at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21 and will be closed on Thursday, November 22 in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

One State / One Story: Frankenstein

Adults and teens are invited to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's classic novel, Frankenstein, during the statewide initiative, One State / One Story: Frankenstein, taking place from September through November at Indianapolis Public Library and community locations.

Not only intended to encourage Hoosiers to read Frankenstein as it turns 200 in 2018, the initiative offers a variety of programs that examine questions raised by the book about the practice of science and its role in society. As a program partner, IndyPL will explore the complexities of scientific discovery through book discussions, lectures, theater and more.

One State / One Story: Frankenstein programs at IndyPL and community locations include:

  • Frankenstein Book Discussions
    Join in the conversation about Mary Shelley's novel published in 1818 at discussions led by experts from the Indiana Writers Center.
    Various dates and locations
  • Graphic Novel Book Club Discussions
    Connect with comic enthusiasts to explore the Gris Grimly's graphic novel Frankenstein and Victor LaValle's retelling of Frankenstein in his graphic novel, Destroyer.
    Various dates and locations
  • Frankenstein, Henrietta Lacks, and the Consequences of Scientific Discovery: A Panel Discussion
    Wednesday, September 5 from 6 - 8 p.m.
    Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair Street

    Join WFYI Side Effects Public Media and The Indianapolis Public Library to weave together themes from two books — one fiction and one fact. In the first, Frankenstein, scientific curiosity (and madness) led to the creation of what some called a monster. In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, scientific curiosity motivated doctors to harvest and culture cancer cells from Mrs. Lacks without her knowledge. The use of HeLa cells raised questions regarding informed medical consent and access to care.
  • Shelley's Frankenstein: Why Honor and Will Matter
    Monday, September 10 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
    Irvington Branch, 5625 E. Washington Street

    Explore how the human will works in making honorable decisions for ethical actions and what impact choosing honor, or refusing it, has on the social order of science and religion during this program led by Professor Jamey Norton.
  • Frankenstein and Jurassic Park: Two Tales of Science Fiction and Imagination
    Saturday, September 15 from 4 - 5 p.m.
    Pike Branch, 6525 Zionsville Road

    Contemplate the ethics of scientific process; the commercialization of scientific achievement; and the interplay of power, control, and respect for the natural world in this comparison of these two stories during this program led by Professor Cassandra Bausman.
  • Franken-fiction: A Group Flash-Fiction Workshop
    Thursday, September 20 from 6:30 - 8 p.m.
    Metazoa Brewing Co., 140 S. College Avenue

    Craft a story about invention in this fun writing exercise led by The Speculative Fiction Guild.
  • Frankenstein: Human Limits and Human Possibilities
    Saturday, September 22 from 2 - 3 p.m.
    Wayne Branch, 198 S. Girls School Rd

    Discover the limits of natural science and technology illuminated in Frankenstein and how these limitations allow for us to more deeply understand our own nature and what it takes to make the most of our human potential during this program led by Professor Richard Gunderman.
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Book Discussion
    Tuesday, September 25 from 6:30 - 8 p.m.
    Centerpoint Brewing, 1125 E. Brookside Ave., Suite 2B

    Join Indiana Humanities, March for Science and Central Indiana Science Outreach for a book discussion on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, led by expert guest scientist Chad Priest from American Red Cross Indiana.
  • Frankenslam: Where Poetry is Alive! It's Alive!
    Saturday, September 29 from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
    College Avenue Branch, 4180 N. College Avenue

    Bring monstrous poems to life, learn about Shelley's influence on rock and hip-hop culture, and create your own horrorcore poem in this interactive workshop led by poet Adam Henze.
  • Mary Shelley's November is Ray Bradbury's October
    Saturday, September 29 from 2 - 3 p.m.
    Nora Branch, 8625 Guilford Avenue

    Find out how the two authors wrestle with the questions of what makes us human during this program led by Professor Jonathan Eller.
  • It's Alive! Electricity, Cinema, and Metaphor in Frankenstein
    Wednesday, October 3 from 6 - 7 p.m.
    Lawrence Branch, 7898 N. Hague Road

    Examine how the invention of electricity birthed the interconnected lives of Frankenstein and cinema during this program led by Professor Matthew Weedman.
  • INconversation with Victor LaValle
    Thursday, October 11 from 6:30 - 8 p.m.
    Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair Street

    Hear from the creator of the Destroyer comics, which reimagines the Frankenstein myth by way of Black Lives Matter, and enjoy beverages from Scarlet Lane Brewing. Moderated by Dr. Leah Milne and presented by Indiana Humanities. RSVP requested at
  • Rebecca SklootRebecca Skloot Listening Party
    Thursday, October 18 from 6:30 - 8 p.m.
    Central Library, Indianapolis Special Collections Room, 40 E. St. Clair Street

    Join the WFYI Nerds to hear Fresh Air's Terry Gross interview with Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
  • Frankenstein Play
    Friday, October 19 from 6 - 7:30 p.m.
    (adults only - treats from Indiana Humanities' Frank-N-Steins beer garden, courtesy of Scarlet Lane Brewing)
    Saturday, October 20 from 2 - 3:30 p.m. (family-friendly)

    Enjoy Ball State University's Department of Theatre and Dance presentation of their original production of Frankenstein. Adapted from the novel by Mary Shelley, this performance combines music and movement to tell the story of Victor Frankenstein and his quest to reanimate the dead. This production was selected to travel to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival where it received multiple award nominations.
  • Rebecca Skloot and the Lacks Family
    Wednesday, October 24 from 6 - 8 p.m.
    Northview Middle School, 8401 Westfield Blvd.

    Contemplate the complexities of ethics of scientific research while hearing from Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Learn more about the life of Henrietta Lacks from members of her family in a moderated discussion. Book sales and signing to follow.
  • Improvising Frankenstein: Bringing to Life New Stories of Disabilities
    Saturday, October 27 from 2 - 3 p.m.
    Glendale Branch, 6101 N. Keystone Avenue

    Use improv to explore how Frankenstein is a reflection of how we think about, respond to, and ultimately create disability as individuals and communities.
  • Bringing Science to Life: Exploring the Intersection of Medical Ethics and Literature
    Monday, November 5 from 6 - 7:30 p.m.
    Central Library, Clowes Auditorium, 40 E. St. Clair Street

    Listen to a panel of medical ethicists discuss the intersection of science, ethics, and humanities at this Spirit and Place event. Panelists will be prompted by passages from Frankenstein and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks to guide their remarks.
  • Teen FrankenToys
    Teens are invited to craft their own Frankenstein-inspired toy using found materials during this art workshop.
    Various dates and locations

For more information about One State / One Story: Frankenstein programs at IndyPL, call 317-275-4099.

One State / One Story: Frankenstein is an Indiana Humanities program and has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and in partnership with the Indiana State Library and Indiana Center for the Book.