Lewis University submitted this article:
The depiction, mythology, and existence of the zombie in pop culture is the focus of the Zombie Series Oct. 29-Nov. 2 in AS-158 on Lewis University’s Main Campus in Romeoville. All programs are free and open to the public.
The series will begin at 1 p.m. Oct. 29 with a presentation by Dr. Dawn Walts, assistant professor of English. Her presentation, “Zombies Are Not Metaphors,” will focus on the role and representation of zombies in the graphic novel The Walking Dead and the novel Zone One by Colson Whitehead. At 2 p.m., Dr. Karen Trimble-Alliaume, associate professor of theology and Dr. Anne Rapp, assistant professor in the School for Professional and Continuing Education, will present “I’ll Wash the Dishes, While You Reload the Guns, Honey: Gender Roles in the Zombie Apocalypse.” Trimble-Alliaume and Rapp will examine depictions of gender relations and role in the zombie apocalypses of the TV series “The Walking Dead.”
At 2 p.m. on Oct. 30, “Drop Dead Gorgeous: Cadavers on the Catwalk and Job Opportunities for the Dead” will be presented by Dr. Elizabeth Kozak, assistant professor of biology. Kozak will discuss curious world of human cadavers and the jobs they perform.
“Why We Fear that Zombies Will Eat our Brains” will be held at 1 p.m. Oct. 31. Presented by Dr. John Greenwood, professor of psychology, this presentation will suggest that the content of the zombie mythology is based in a combination of unconscious, irrational, primitive emotional responses to the death of others. Dr. Tracey Nicholls, associate professor of philosophy and Dr. Pramod Mishra, assistant professor of English will present “Zombies and Shamans – Sacred Cultural Lives in Haiti and India” at 2 p.m. Nicholls and Mishra will discuss the cultural contexts of religious experiences that are often confused or obscured by popular depictions of the zombie.
Dominic Colonna, professor of theology, will present “Zombies, Saints, and Relics” at 2 p.m. Nov. 1. Colonna will discuss how the beliefs about zombies are similar to beliefs that are associated with the cult of the saints and relics in the Catholic theological tradition. At 3 p.m., Dr. Jerry Kavouras, associate professor of biology, will present “Zombies: Between Life and Death.” Kavouras will debate the status of zombies as biological entities. In the end, the audience will decide if zombies are living or nonliving.
The series will conclude at 1 p.m. on Nov. 2 with “What’s up With All of These Zombies? An Analysis of Zombies in Popular Culture.” Presented by Dr. Tennille Allen, assistant professor of sociology, this presentation will analyze demographic and cultural shifts that contribute to the current and historical popularity of zombies in pop culture.
The Zombies Series is being presented as a part of Lewis University’s Arts & Ideas Program, providing cultural and educational programming for students and the community. A portion of the Arts & Ideas events is sponsored by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. For additional information, please contact Dr. Michael Cunningham, Director of Arts & Ideas, at (815) 836-5385.