Mellor’s illustrated lecture, "Mothering Monsters: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein," analyzes the biographical origins of Shelley’s famous novel, focusing on how and why an 18 year-old author came to produce one of the most enduring myths of the modern age. Frankenstein is a powerful critique of both the science and the politics of the revolutionary 1790s, and offers a compelling alternative to the Promethean ideologies of Shelley’s peers.

After teaching at Stanford for 18 years, Mellor joined the UCLA faculty in 1984. She has directed three NEH Summer Seminars for College Teachers and received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, ACLS, NEH and the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University in Canberra. Her research interests include British Romantic-era writing, women’s studies, and 18th- and 19th-century British art and literature. Mellor is the author of "Blake’s Human Form Divine," "English Romantic Irony," "Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters," "Romanticism and Gender," and "Mothers of the Nation: Women’s Political Writing in England, 1780-1830."

The South Dakota Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at The University of South Dakota was chartered in 1926 and is the only chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in the public and private universities and colleges of South Dakota. The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Lecture is sponsored by Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of English.

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