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LectureZ (part 2)

October 30, 2014

Similar to the previous post, Halloween is a popular week for news about zombie-themed academics. Here’s some more that caught my attention:

Missouri University of Science and Technology, 12KVCS: “Zombie apocalypse teaches Missouri S&T students“:

Associate professor Ivan Guardiola says shows like “The Walking Dead” were really popular when he developed a zombie doomsday scenario for a fall 2012 course called Operations Research

Wright State University, The Guardian: “Most unusual classes of the spring semester” by Zara Qureshi:

“Zombies and Gender in Pop Culture”… women’s studies course will focus on how zombie TV shows and films explore gender and other topics.

“We will be exploring how zombie tales in television and film are participating in social discourses of gender, race, class, sexual orientation and nationality,” said Andrea Harris, the course instructor.

Pittsburgh State University : “PSU Zombie Apocalypse Lecture” reported by Gretchen Bolander and with embedded video from ABC Action12 News.

10News: “Zombies take over graduate level course at San Diego State” by Joe Little with embedded video including interview with Professor Emily Hicks who has mixed post-colonial theory, philosophy and zombies into a graduate level literature course.

Unfortunately, Little’s copywriting plays a little fast with an important issue, writing:

“Part of it is post-colonial theory … part of it is zombies,” said Howeth.

But zombies are not real.

“Zombies are a metaphor,” said Hicks, who developed the three-credit course to increase student enrollment.

Hmmm, ok but metaphors are real. No?

Professor Hicks SDSU class is also covered by cbs8: “Zombies class at SDSU” with another video interview of Professor Hicks (who seems to always wear sunglasses? even in class? is something wrong with her eyes or is it just that the the future is so bright for zombie professors?). The cbs video begins with an unrelated segment about festivities for Dia de los Muertos. Would Little say the dead are also only a metaphor?

Professor Hicks tweeted announcement that Jonathan Maberry is coming to a give talk to her SDSU Zombies class on November 12th. Maybe Jonathan Maberry is not real, maybe he is just an author-function-metaphor for a middle-aged horror author. Now I am not saying that there isn’t a human body there too, but are they really one in the same, the author and his body? Even if Maberry shows up on time isn’t he still just a stand-in object, standing in for this performance of the role of the author?

If zombies aren’t real, what the heck is this blog about? Of course metaphors are real. Even real itself is a metaphor for an embodied experience of interaction with the environment. Things need not exist tangibly to make them real, then need exist psychologically. These courses and lectures are real college academics, but then again, is college real?

From → Academics

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