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Drezner against zombie metaphors?

February 12, 2013

TEDxBinghamton to talk “God particle,” zombies, Artificial Intelligence” by Geoffrey Wilson in Pipe Dream, Binghamton’s student-run paper. Wilson reports on the upcoming TEDx to be held at Binghamton on February 24th.

Professor Daniel Drezner from Tufts University will argue against the use of zombies as a metaphor, claiming the sub-genre has reached its limit.

Recall Drezner is author of the 2011 book “Theories of International Politics and Zombies” and on the advisory board of the Zombie Research Society. He also appeared in the Discovery Channel’s “Zombie Apocalypse” documentary but absolved himself at airing with a post on his blog: “Has the zombie apocalypse jumped the shark? ” :

On the utility-of-the-metaphor front, I will defend the use of fictional analogies as a way of stimulating creative thinking and calling attention to useful policy measures until my last undying breath. I wrote Theories of International Politics and Zombies because I thought it would make some people laugh and make some people think; it was a subversive way to get some book-learning into the cerebellum. Since the book has come out, however, I find that the questions I get from reporters and documentarians about the living dead have morphed from seriocomic to just dead serious.

I share Alyssa Rosenberg’s concern that people are focusing way too much on being in the apocalypse as opposed to how we get to the apocalypse and whether it can be stopped. Analogies free up certain pattens of thought while also constraining others. Because so many zombie narratives assume that no matter what humans do, we wind up in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, there’s a tendency to presume that this must and always be so. That constraint is starting to become more prominent.

Presumably this is the line of thinking that leads to his upcoming TEDx talk. Even if this might preempt my dissertation I am excited to hear it – not excited enough to drive up to Vestal, but still very excited for the video stream.

All of ZombieLaw is about metaphor but see this list of posts tagged “metaphors”


From → Academics

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