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One of the challenges of a contemporary instructor of young adults is to make literature written for a textually oriented, philosophically literate, and slower paced society of yesteryear available to a visually oriented body of readers today whose textual communication of choice is the 140 character eliptically coded sound bite. Behrendt has accumulated some very effective resources for just that. Her text is an extremely useful reference that puts supporting materials and classroom exercises at your fingertips. The many contributors to this volume offer case studies that show students from a variety of typical disciplines and educational levels engaging with the story. The samplings are numerous and offer clearly applied current critical approaches from which to ground the reading, discussion, and writing. Many of the projects, particularly the letter writing exercise contributed by Art Young, can be easily adapted to an internet format by opening a blog or chat for the purpose.
The annotated lists of supporting materials and sources for both the instructor and students represent months of preparation for the instructor who is not a Shelly specialist but who is incorporating the novel into a more generalized class on writing, film, or humaities. Certainly, the twenty films briefly reviewed allow an informed set of visual options from which to construct a bridge for the more visually and orally situated students of today. This text, along with a quality edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, can make the Frankenstein unit an enjoyable experience for both instructor and student.
Posted August 23, 2010
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