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Brains Occupy Zombies at Rhodes College

September 18, 2012

Awesome reporting by Michael Sheffield of the Memphis Business Journal manages to include zombies, Occupy, Noam Chomsky, Leonard Nimoy, Mayans, brain science, video games and humanities studies – in “Harvard professor, author Schlozman explores human condition through zombies“.

zombie michael sheffield

The article is about Professor Dr. Schlozman‘s upcoming visit to Rhodes College in Tennessee. Recall Dr. Schlozman (see previously ZombieLaw post)is the Harvard professor who explains human neuroscience using fictional zombie behaviors for case study. The event will be held on Sept 20:

the purpose of tying the lecture in to a zombie outbreak is to help teach people about the human brain, how it works and why humans respond in certain ways to certain events.

Scheffield notes that last year the same Rhodes College event had Noam Chomsky and was coincidentally the same time that Occupy Wall Street began (in New York, so I am not sure how that relates to Tennessee exactly, but Noam Chomsky’s ideas relate to Occupy so I guess the timing is notable). I would note the again the importance of a connection between zombie memes and Occupy themes – a populist leaderless movement, the media says is disorganized and meaningless, a physical presence hive-mind, a symbol of undead humanity.

“It’s a crossover between sciences and humanities,” Judaken [event organizer and the Spence L. Wilson Chair in Humanities at Rhodes College] said.

This article encapsulates why I see zombies as perfect for the study of political minds and democratic consciousness The intersection of entertainment, brain science and populism. The question of free will is the democratic question writ large. The question of minds cannot be answered by brain science alone. There is a human element that comes from discussing narratives of others, zombies are the ultimate other, humanlike non-humans.


From → Academics, Occupy

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