Book Selection for Spring 2017: Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Book selection for Fall 2017: George Orwell, 1984

Upcoming Events

Book Discussion Get-Together 1
When: Wed., February 8, 2017 from 5–6 p.m.
What: An open, informal discussion of Frankenstein, Chapters 1–5
Where: TBD
Who: All are welcome.

Panel Discussion 1: “Galvanism and Grave-Robbers: The Science/Fiction of Frankenstein”
When: Thursday, March 23, 2017 from 4:30-6:00 PM
What: This interdisciplinary panel of DelVal students and faculty will offer insights into the historical and scientific background that shaped Mary Shelley’s novel.
Featuring DelVal Faculty: Dr. David Snyder, Professor of History & Policy Studies; Prof. Brian Lutz, Assistant Professor of English; Dr. Michael Stamps, Associate Professor of English
Where: LSB 102
Who: All are welcome.

Book Discussion Get-Together 2

MARCH 29: FILM SCREENING & PANEL
 
SCREENING
What: Screening of Bride of Frankenstein (1935; Dir. James Whale; 110 min.)
When: Wed., March 29, 2017 (4:30 PM)
Where: Life Sciences Building, Room 103
Who: All are welcome.
 
PANEL
“PLAYING GOD: GENETIC ENGINEERING, BIOETHICS & FRANKENSTEIN”
A panel of experts in the fields of microbiology, genetics, immunology, epigenetics, gene therapy and pharmaceutical regulation will discuss and debate the scientific advances and ethical dilemmas associated with such controversial Frankenstein-themed topics as: genetically modified organisms (GMOs), synthetic biology, human-animal hybrids or “chimeras,” and genome editing tools such as CRISPR-Cas9.
When: Wed., March 29, 2017 at 6:30–8:00 PM

Where: Delaware Valley University, Life Sciences Building, Room 103

Featuring:      Dr. Helai Mohammad
Helai received a BA from Johns Hopkins University and completed a Ph.D. in Pharmacology at Case Western Reserve University. She received an American Cancer Society award in support of a post-doctoral fellowship completed at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and served as a Research Associate in Oncology at JHU before joining the Cancer Epigenetics Discovery Performance Unit of Glaxosmithkline in 2011.  Helai’s research interests have largely focused on epigenetics with an emphasis on cancer biology.
 
Dr. Cynthia Keler, Professor of Biology, Delaware Valley University
Dr. Keler graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Ph.D. in Microbiology in 1990. She is a Professor in the Biology Department at Delaware Valley University, where she teaches Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Virology. Her research interests are in the area of bacteria transcription regulation and plant growth promoting bacteria.
 
Kimberly Johnston, Instructor of Biology, Delaware Valley University
Professor Johnston earned a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from Lehigh University, and completed additional graduate work in Immunology at Hahnemann University. As an Instructor in the Biology Department at DVU, she teaches Genetics, Genetics Laboratory, and Immunology. Here research interests include the use of RNA interference to study gene function in C. elegans.
 
Dr. Andy Fedoriw
Andy received his Ph.D. in Developmental Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. He did his post-doctoral fellowship and was an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, before joining the Cancer Epigenetics DPU at GSK in 2014. His research interests are in the genetic control of mammalian development, and how these events relate to human disease.
 

Book Discussion Get-Together 3
When: Wed., March 15, 2017 from 5–6 p.m.
What: An open, informal discussion of Frankenstein, Chapters 16–end
Where: TBD
Who: All are welcome.

Film Screening 1
When: Wed., March 22, 2017 6 p.m.
What: Screening of Frankenstein (1931; Dir. James Whale; 110 min.)
Where: TBD
Who: All are welcome.

Panel Discussion 2: “Playing God: GMOs, Genome Editing, and Frankenstein”
When: End of March (Date TBD)
What: This interdisciplinary panel of DelVal students and faculty will examine how the ethical and moral lessons of Frankenstein remain relevant today, especially as they inspire public fears surrounding genetically modified organisms—so-called “frankenfood”—and influence scientific debate related to potential misapplications of genome editing tools such as CRISPR-Cas9.
Featuring: Panelists TBD
Where: TBD
Who: All are welcome.

Panel Discussion 3: “Frankenstein and the Anthropocene”
When: Mid-April (Date TBD)
What: The Anthropocene is the name that some scientists have used to classify the geological epoch during which humans began having a significant impact on the environment of the Earth. If this period began more than two thousand years ago, it’s only been within the past couple of centuries that humans have attempted to address this problematic process. Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein in 1816, remembered around the world as “The Year Without a Summer due to the sky-darkening eruption of Mount Tambora the year before, which resulted in global climate anomalies that brought about crop failures, food shortages and riots, famines and epidemics, as well as a host of speculative plans and projects to combat what we would now refer to as “climate change.” This interdisciplinary panel of DelVal students and faculty will examine the various ways in which Mary Shelley’s novel characterizes and comments on humanity’s problematic relationship with the natural world.
Featuring: Panelists TBD
Where: TBD
Who: All are welcome.


About the DelVal Book Community

With the introduction of The DelVal Book Community in 2010, Delaware Valley University joined hundreds of colleges and universities across the country in their efforts to promote literacy and interdisciplinary dialogue across their campuses and throughout their communities.

The DelVal Book Community is an extra-curricular common reading program that jumpstarts incoming students’ college experience, challenges current students to confront important issues of the day, and joins the entire college community in conversations and events devoted to the topics, themes, and controversies presented by the selected works.

Each book selection is supplemented by community-wide forums, faculty roundtables, student discussion groups, film and lecture series, and other on-campus events—all of which are free and open to the public.

The DelVal Book Community strives to fulfill all of the university’s Core Values, especially the expectations that students and professors “value the world of ideas and differences,” and “act as one learning community with one purpose,” for “we are all invested in one another’s success and intend to make a difference in the world!” Becoming active in the DelVal Book Community is as simple as reading, thinking, and discussing these works.

Previous Book Community Selections

2014–2015
•    Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth
•    James Howard Kunstler, The Geography of Nowhere
•    Paul Fleischman, Seedfolks

2013-2014
•    Bill McKibben, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
•    Raj Patel, The Value of Nothing
•    Ernest Cline, Ready Player One

2012-2013
•    Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals
•    Seamus McGraw, The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone
•    Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

2011-2012
•    Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
•    Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain
•    Elizabeth Royte, Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It

2010-2011
•    John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath