Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art & Art History

First Advisor

Melinda Barlow

Second Advisor

Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz

Third Advisor

Reece Auguiste


Mad scientists and their monsters have inspired countless filmmakers since the dawn of cinema. This thesis is an exploration of humanity’s occupation with the border between known and unknown. It will examine that special place at the very limit of human imagination, and the orchestration of various narratives that manage to push that limit. The mad scientist narrative is timeless because it is always open to reanimation; in order to push the limits of human imagination, each story reconceives of and redefines the genre. As an academic work, this thesis hopes to match that liveliness and flexibility. It will straddle the many borders between new and old, discarded and coveted, known and unknown, real and imaginary, doctor and patient, and creator and creation. Utilizing a primarily queer theoretical stance, this work will examine notions of gender, trauma, and abjection within Frankenstein stories on film, as well as the implications of those notions.