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when zombie scholars move on

March 20, 2014

Drezner spoke at Duke: “Zombie theorist explains politics behind ‘Game of Thrones’” by Stuart Reit:

“‘Game of Thrones’ is like majoring in political science,” Drezner said.

Where other mainstream political dramas like “The West Wing,” “House of Cards” and “Scandal” can be too similar to reality or too focused on idealism,

Is this related to the uncanny valley? Simulation easier to accept when not too similar to reality.

Recall Drezner wrote “Theories of International Politics and Zombies”.

So then could we learn International Politics from anything. Maybe “Golden Girls“? Power relations and gender norms with old ladies around a breakfast table. Why not, right? Any academic subject can be spruced up by a teacher knowledgeable in the pop culture of the student-audience.

Using cut scenes from the show, Drezner was able to capture pivotal moments of the series and tie them into political theory.

Yes! And surely, Hollywood will want schools to license that content for fees. The educational content market is huge!

But then Drezner goes maybe a step too far:

“Cersei Lannister is the Vladimir Putin world view,” Drezner said, referencing the current situation in Crimea.

Hmmm. Ok. That’s interesting, I had no idea that Putin was in such a difficult position with his family dynamic; with his brother, really? The article concludes:

“Events like this really remind me why it’s so awesome to go to a place like Duke,” sophomore Stephen Yates said. “When your family sits you down to watch “Game of Thrones” over the summer and then you come back and you learn about how it applies to actual politics, it’s pretty cool.”

And at just $45,620 a year, his parents must be so proud that he can watch TV so well. Does a Lannister always pay his student loan debt?

Meanwhile, another prominent zombie researcher, Dr. Schlozman has moved on to witches (last December, regarding “American Horror Story: Coven”), in HuffPo: “Witches Are Sexier Than Zombies (and Maybe Even Cooler)

With these witches? Hell, I wanna play. So, zombies are the monsters we run towards when we confront our disconnection… Witches require more witches to party… I will always love zombies, but for now I am under the witch’s spell.

Recall Dr. Schlozman authored “Zombie Autopsies” and works on Hollywood STEM Zombies with Mayim Bialik.

Ok, so where’s the neuroscience of witches? We’ve heard they’re anemic but that doesn’t explain the magic powers? Maybe some kind of tertiary structure difference in the hemoglobin that effects the hippocampus? Or which brain part might be most likely to give rise to pyrotechnics?

Of course, there are zombies (or zombie-like creatures) in both “Game of Thrones” and “American Horror Story: Coven”, and so neither of these zombie academics are particularly far off topic. Still it’s interesting to note their broadening interests.

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From → Academics

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