What Does It Mean to Be a “Global” Text? The Example of Frankenstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Using Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein and its legacies as a case study, this chapter develops a theory of the “global text”-a single text or writer’s oeuvre that has become a monument of culture and a focal point for shared cultural heritages, past, present, and future. The conceptual framework poses three different sets of questions: 1) In what ways was the text or oeuvre “global” in its own day, adopting a “worldly” approach that transcends its particular locale? 2) How does the history of the publication, criticism, and (where applicable) the performance of the text or oeuvre transform it into a global cultural commodity? 3) What is the cultural legacy of the text or oeuvre today throughout a variety of global media forms, including plays, films, novels, operas, and works of visual art? Investigating how Shelley positions her novel as a global text by drawing on classical Greek mythology, Milton’s Paradise Lost, and contemporary scientific debates about “vitalism, " the chapter examines the representation of “Frankenstein” in popular culture and twenty-first century literary novels, concluding with an account of Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad (2014).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWorld Englishes, Global Classrooms
Subtitle of host publicationThe Future of English Literary and Linguistic Studies
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9789811940330
ISBN (Print)9789811940323
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Authorial intention
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Frankenstein
  • Global cultural heritage
  • Global text

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'What Does It Mean to Be a “Global” Text? The Example of Frankenstein'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this