Skip to main body content

CTE | Boston College

Main Content

the shelley project


“The Shelley Project” was developed by IDeS and Mark O’Connor of the Arts and Sciences Honors Program with funding from the Davis Foundation. The Flash-application provides a contextual exploration of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein through the art of J. David, Géricault, Delacroix and Turner, and the music of Paganini, Liszt, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Berlioz, Mozart, Beethoven, Monteverdi and Gregorian Chant. The flash-based media presentation enables students to interact with the work of each of these artists, emphasizing the relationship of the artists to one another, their art, and the nineteenth century’s philosophical struggle between virtuosity, hubris, and the ‘superb indifference of the universe…’ without God. Texts include passages from Kant, Burke, Longinus, Roman mythology, Berlioz’s memoirs, and the interpretive comments of Mark O’Connor. This integrated media presentation provides a visual and aural foundation on which a seminar discussion of the central work can be built. The interactivity of the presentation allows for students to explore their own thread of interpretation while expanding their experience of Shelley beyond the written page.

Students are able to go through a themed ‘slideshow’ in order, reading text in conjunction with images. Each image is accompanied by text and source information. Students can click on an image to look more closely, follow the slideshow in order, or select the next ‘slide.’ This set shows the drafts and the final painting by Géricault, Raft of the Medusa, a story of shipwreck, cannibalism and rescue. Students may search both ‘themes’ and particular items. Searching for “Beauty” brings up both a theme, and images which have the word beauty. Students may also compare items based on artists, subjects, composers, or any word in the text.

Project Team

Content Direction and Development

  • Mark O'Connor A&S Honors Program

Project Manager

  • Maria McDowell IDeS, A&S Honors Program

Flash Design and Development

  • Jay Laird Metaversal Studios
  • James Mullen Metaversal Studios
  • Chris Ceranto Metaversal Studios