Day Zero: Meet Your Blogger

Hello! Welcome to the blog for the In Frankenstein's Footsteps January Term Experience! If you are reading this, one of two things is probably true. You are either the friend or parent of one of the fantastic students travelling abroad on this course, or you are a strikingly stunning individual with an amazing taste in blog reading. Either way, I'm glad you're here! I hope you are excited to follow along with this blog as we travel around Europe discovering all there is to learn about Mary Shelley, the group of intellectuals she immersed herself within, and her famous novel, Frankenstein.

My name is Spencer Young. I am a sophomore at Luther College and I am involved in way too many activities to try and list them off (which tends to be the case for most of us here). I hail from the distant city of Omaha, Nebraska, home of great steak and a pretty nifty zoo. As you will probably come to realize in the coming weeks, I firmly believe that life is meant to be enjoyed and laughter is the best cure to almost every ache and pain (belly laughs are the best).

At Luther, I am studying towards a degree in English, a subject that I hold near and dear to my heart and soul. Ever since I wrote my first short story in second grade and discovered the Harry Potter series a year later, I have been an avid reader and writer. I am constantly looking for my next favorite book, my next story topic, my next literary obsession.

When I first read Frankenstein in the fall of my senior year of high school, I discovered one of those obsessions. Before Frankenstein, British literature had been a mystery to me. Outside of the aforementioned Harry Potter series, I hadn't read any British novels until I opened Frankenstein for the first time. What I discovered inside was a revelation. In reading Frankenstein and pursuing its influences to their ends, I was introduced to an entire side of literature I hadn't known to exist. The novel acted as a gateway to my discovery of British literature in all of its forms. Mystifying poets such as William Blake captivated my interest. Radical thinkers such as Percy Shelley (Mary's husband) made me hungry for more. But, even through discovering these new and exciting works of art, Frankenstein has remained one of my favorite stories of all time. It truly is a masterpiece of fiction, a iconic classic not simply of British literature, but of the international variety.

If you can't already tell, I am beyond excited for this course. This will be my first time in Europe and I am going to soak every ounce of it up and present it to you! To quote John Keats, one of the poets we will be studying, I cannot fathom of a better way to experience Europe than to dive into the web of "mingled yarn" that is strewn behind the scenes of Mary Shelley's writing of Frankenstein and her life in full.

See you across ponds!


If you have any questions, concerns, personal comments, or you just want to chat it up with a cheapskate intellectual like myself, my email is [email protected] - I'd love to hear from you!

Spencer Young, your blogger!