Published on October 29th, 2012 | by Brent Sumner0
Lewis Goes Zombie Crazy
Brent Sumner, Assistant Tempo Editor
Photo courtesy of sxc.hu.
Lewis University will be presenting the Zombie Series Oct. 29-Nov. 2, where professors will analyze the depiction and myths surrounding zombies in our culture. The series, which is presented by Arts & Ideas, is sure to attract many students who have gotten caught up in zombie movies, as well as the hit AMC show, “The Walking Dead.”
The Zombie Series will kick off at 1 p.m. with a presentation by Dr. Walts, titled, “These Zombies are (Not) Metaphors.” Dr. Walts will discuss the role and representation of zombies in “The Walking Dead” as well as the novel “Zone One” by Colson Whitehead. The presentation will also include student projects from the professor’s course, “The Apocalypse in Literature.”
The next installment in the Zombie Series will be by professors Karen Trimble Alliaume and Anne Rapp, which is titled, “I’ll Wash the Dishes While You Reload the Guns, Honey: Gender Roles in the Apocalypse.” They will examine the roles of gender in “The Walking Dead” as well as other films.
“I have been involved in conversations about the appeal and social significance of shows like ‘The Walking Dead’ with my students and with fellow faculty members since the show’s inception,” Trimble said. “ I think it’s a great opportunity for students to take another look at something they enjoy, and contribute to an interdisciplinary conversation.”
On Oct. 30, the Zombie Series will continue with a presentation from Dr. Elizabeth Kozak, and will look at the world of human cadavers and the jobs they perform. The presentation is titled “Drop Dead Gorgeous: Cadavers on the Catwalk and Job Opportunities for the Dead.”
“Corpses are actually very valuable tools in several medical fields and in research as well as in military settings,” Kozak said. “Others can be seen ‘modeling’ the human body in artistic venues. Naturally, some of the pictures in the presentation are graphic in nature since they are pictures of corpses in various states but after all, it is Halloween.”
Oct. 31 will continue the Zombie Series with two more presentations from Dr. Greenwood and Dr. Nicholls with Dr. Mishra. Greenwood’s presentation, titled, “Why We Fear that Zombies Will Eat our Brains” will look at the myths surrounding zombies. According to the Arts & Ideas website, the presentation will also suggest that the mythology is based on the unconscious, irrational and primitive emotional responses to the death of others. Nicholls and Mishra’s presentation is titled, “Zombies and Shamans–Sacred Cultural Lives in Haiti and India.”
“We will each be trying to educate students about the reality of zombies in different cultures, and the truth behind the Hollywood mythology,” said Nicholls. “My part of this will focus on Haiti, and the fact that the ‘zombi’ is a real part of Haitian culture.”
“Zombies: Between Life and Death,” presented by Dr. Kavouras will be another presentation on Nov. 1.
“My presentation will discuss if zombies are alive or dead,” Kavouras said. “We call them the living or walking dead, but are they dead? We will discuss popular stories of zombies. So, if you want a scientific opinion on zombies (and hopefully a fun, interactive discussion) you will want to check out my presentation. It’s always fun to discuss the science behind movies.”
The last presentation of the Zombie Series will be presented by Allen, and is titled, “What’s up With All Of These Zombies? An Analysis of Zombies in Popular Culture.” Dr. Tennille Allen will discuss the resurgence of zombies and what the driving forces are behind the reappearance of zombies in popular culture.
Lewis University is getting students into the Halloween mood with many presentations on zombies. Giving the topic of zombies a more academic analysis is an interesting twist, considering they are such a huge part of the entertainment culture right now. For additional information on the events during the week, go to the Arts & Ideas calendar on the Lewis website.