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College News

“Jekyll and Hyde: Together Again” at St. John Fisher College


In conjunction with Halloween, St. John Fisher College will host "Jekyll and Hyde: Together Again-The Continuing Relevance of Robert Louis Stevenson's Novella, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," on Thursday, October 30 and Friday, October 31.

Sponsored by the Health Humanities Committee of St. John Fisher College, the event is a multidisciplinary examination of Stevenson's classic tale as it relates to contemporary issues in philosophy, medicine, psychology, sociology, education, counseling, and literary criticism. The two-day event takes place in the Midlevel of the Golisano Academic Gateway on the Fisher campus, and is free and open to the public.

Originally published in 1885, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a story of a man who attempts to separate his good and evil natures, and thereby create two different people in one body. In this brief work, Stevenson-whose own life was cut short due to chronic health problems-dealt with such themes as the duality of human nature, the role of physicians in society, the need for openness in medical research, and the desire to use pharmaceuticals to improve the human condition. These topics remain current and controversial today. Stevenson's story has been made into countless films, television shows, and even a Broadway musical. It has achieved literary "immortality."

The "Jekyll and Hyde: Together Again" event will present differing interpretations of the issues raised by the short novel. There will also be panel discussions with medical doctors, philosophers, psychologists, counselors, sociologists, literary critics, and film scholars, as well as student presentations and screenings of films based upon the novel.

The full schedule is as follows:

Thursday, October 30

8:00 – 9:20 a.m.

Tim Madigan, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy:
“The Uses and Abuses of Human Experimentation: Why Dr. Jekyll was Immoral”

David White, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy:
“Dr. Watson and Mr. Holmes Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”

9:20 – 10:50 a.m.

Eileen Merges, Ph.D., Department of Psychology:
“The Psychological Significance of Jekyll and Hyde in Understanding the Human Mind”

Michael Herzbrun, Ed.D., Coordinator of Mental Health Services: “The Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome in Counseling Students”

11:00 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

Presentations by students from the School Without Walls: “Jekyll and Hyde in Artistic Representation” (with Laurence Federman and Ken Steffen)

12:20 – 1:45 p.m.

Lunch Break

1:45 – 3:05 p.m.

John Travers, Ed.D., Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education:
“Profound Duplicity: Leadership Lessons and Narrative Texts”

Robert Riley, Spokesperson and Public Information Officer, Rochester Psychiatric Center:
“The Transforming Draught: Madness and Alcoholism in Stevenson’s Time”

3:05 – 4:30 p.m.

Open Discussion

4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Dinner Break

6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

A showing of the 1931 film, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” starring Fredric March and Miriam Hopkins (with discussion to follow)

Friday, October 31

8:00 – 8:50 a.m.

Karl Williams, J.D., Wegmans School of Pharmacy:
“What Does Stevenson’s Story Have to Say About Contemporary Pharmacy Ethics?”

George Campbell McDade, Department of Philosophy:
“The Scottish Influences on Robert Louis Stevenson”

9:05 – 10:00 a.m.

Lisa Jadwin, Ph.D., Department of English:
“Nineteenth-Century Paradigms of Mental Illness: The Case of Dr. Jekyll”

10:10 – 11:05 a.m.

David Baronov, Ph.D., Department of Sociology:
“The Social Significance of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Story”

11:05 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Douglas Bicket, Ph.D., Department of Communication/ Journalism:
“The Many Film Adaptations of ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’”

12:00 – 2:20 p.m.

Lunch Break

2:30 – 3:25 p.m.

Paul Fuller, Ph.D., Department of Sociology:
“Criminology from Stevenson’s Day to the Present: Who is Mr. Hyde?”

3:25 – 4:30 p.m.

Open Discussion

4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Dinner Break

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

A showing of the 1940 film, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” starring Spencer Tracy and Ingrid Bergman

The College's Lavery Library will have a special display of Jekyll and Hyde editions and memorabilia throughout the week of the event.

Funding for this event has been provided by the School of Arts and Sciences at St. John Fisher College, and from a $3,200 grant awarded to the College from the New York Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information, please contact Dr. Tim Madigan, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, at (585) 415-5925 or

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the New York Council for the Humanities or National Endowment for the Humanities.


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