Zombies on the Loose: Why Can’t We Get Rid of Them?
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 7:00 p.m.
DUE TO THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN THE LOCATION FOR THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CHANGED.
Congressional Cemetery Chapel, 1801 E St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Closest Metro is Potomac Ave. or Stadium-Armory.
Cemetery map noting the location of the chapel.
Whether they’re harbingers of global disaster (World War Z), unlikely characters in literary mash-ups (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), or ghouls who just want to have fun (Shaun of the Dead), zombies have long provided a lens through which to examine our anxieties—and give us plenty of good healthy scares to boot. Now it seems that the walking dead are stalking us with more intensity. What does the zombie boom in books, television, films, and games tell us?
Jeffery Mantz, who teaches a class titled “Zombies and Their Cultural Importance” at George Mason University, finds there’s plenty to explore in those soulless stares and lurching walks. Though the concept of the undead has existed through time and across cultures, today’s zombie population explosion poses some intriguing philosophical questions. How do zombies challenge our understanding of what it means to be human? How do we resist assimilation into the horde? He’ll explore the ways in which the zombie apocalypse has been recently imagined and the intriguing insights it offers about our modern society. Thrills, chills, and some surprises await.
Mantz is an assistant professor in George Mason’s department of sociology and anthropology.
Television zombies have scared up some very surprising fans: the folks at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. They’ve found plenty of useful material for emergency-preparedness messages in The Walking Dead.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Drive, SW
Metro: Smithsonian Mall Exit (Blue/Orange)