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2013: year of crowdsourced scholarly zombies

January 2, 2014

Vancouver Sun: “Goodbye 2013, and good riddance” by Pete McMartin mentions “Zombie For Him and Zombie For Her cologne sprays” in an article about this

slap-happy year, romance was dead, shopping killed and tweets from twits abounded

The article concludes with some doozies from the twitterverse – are they zombie lies or snarky jokes, who can tell? It’s a modern information age where no one knows how to discern genius.

Speaking of “tweets from twits” did you see Snooki wants a zombie proof house? Is she stupid or are we? See also Kardashian-zombies

Wait till it happens &we’ll see who the asshole is

Meanwhile, congratulations to Charissa de Bekker, a postdoctoral Marie Curie Fellow in the Hughes Lab at the Pennsylvania State University, who has funded her Microryza project: “How does a parasite create zombie-like behavior?” to study how fungal parasites can control ant behaviors;

This research project aims to unravel how this parasite establishes zombie-like host behavior by discovering the genes that are important.

This research could have implications for other behavioral parasites – consider for example, traditional ‘peer pressure’ and the various persuasive effect of fun-guys. Language is a virus, some metaphors are parasitic…

And in other fun-research, see Literature, Medicine, Medical Humanities: An MLA Commons site: “CFS: Graphic Treatment: Zombies, Medicine, and Comics“:

This interdisciplinary call for papers invites proposals for an edited volume on zombies in comics and graphic novels through the lens of medical discourse. Like many tropes in science fiction, the zombie crosses discursive boundaries to become a metaphor used in clinical and scientific literature.
… a central section of the text will address plague, contagion, and epidemiology narratives, we seek to move beyond merely identifying the similarities between the etiology of infectious disease and zombie plagues to question how medical discourse constructs and is constructed by popular iconography of the boundaries of life, illness and health.

With thanks to Ivan Oransky at MedPageToday for link in “Zombies, a Focus for Your Next Scholarly Paper?” – and for full disclosure, I may consider submitting a paper for this if I can figure out how to make it fit. The topic seems very much related to what ZombieLaw has been trying to do with regard to legal and political zombie discourse, and so maybe, Social Security zombies (or other medication zombies in law), might be interesting to this medical-literature community. These are both large sections in my zombie law book, “Zombies in the Federal Courts“, recently published with crowd-sourced funding from Kickstarter, and now available on Amazon (via Createspace). And see ZombieLaw: “Oppression of the Neuroscientist – what is subhumanization?

Speaking of zombie books on CreateSpace: “Middletown freshman writes successful zombie book” by Kaitlyn Schroyer highlights the work of the fourteen-year-old John Grasis who has already sold more zombie books than I have.

If this zombie scholarship gig doesn’t work out, maybe dog grooming? See “When grooming isn’t enough, pet owners pay professionals to dazzle up dogs with bling, bows” by Sue Manning, with photo from AP Photo/NAPCG/Amy Brown:

Sept. 2013 photo released by The National Association of Professional Creative Groomers shows a 5 year old poodle, Xerxes, dressed as a Zombie for Halloween at the A.B. Grooming & Pet Spa in Childersburg, Ala.

A spa for dogs seems like a good business in this world of subhuman monsters. Maybe someone should crowdsource a createspace book about that. Or maybe we should look at the effect of zombie discourse on the notions of crowdsourcing and independent publishing more generally, and the ways in which our communal ability to bypass traditional middlemen makes us into the zombies we thought they were.

Snooki is probably right to want a “zombie proof shelter” because paparazzi (and some of her fans and haters) might want to eat her alive. As with extreme dog grooming (and zombie books), there is no accounting for taste.

From → Academics

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