28th Feb 2015 9:30am-4:00pm
One day interdisciplinary symposium
Confirmed Speakers Include:
Naomi Alderman (author of Disobedience, The Liars Gospel and Zombies, Run! | Stacey Abbott (University of Roehampton | Diane Carr (UCL, Institute of Education)
Zombies are emerging everywhere in popular culture. In comic books and graphic novels, on the small and silver screen, in videogames and board games. The undead have recently risen as a returning figure in contemporary fiction, contaminating works of classic literature, which are themselves reimagined as sequential art and fan fiction. Following a lengthy hiatus, zombies now appear as a generic hybrid of popular film, mutating from horror to comedy to action movie and international thriller. Slow paced or fast running, they feature as movie monsters to be destroyed, as symbols of modern angst and epidemic anxiety, even as romantic heroes and heroines. From the pages of comic books zombies have forced their way into popular television serials. Having been kept alive in survival horror videogames they now form the basis for long-running film franchises. And from graphic novels and television serials they have been remediated again as the antagonists of digital game experiences. Zombies exist as toys and dolls, as figures in tabletop games, as the dress-up inspiration for marches and parties and midnight film screenings. The zombie of popular culture exhibits the ability to cross from one medium to another, mutating, regenerating, but remaining recognisable across different forms and formats.
This one day interdisciplinary symposium examines the meanings surrounding the ambulant deceased, the functions they serve within different artistic formats, and the ways in which they transform through the process of shuffling from one medium to another. This interdisciplinary event brings together scholars of film and television, digital media, and designers of games, joined by their interest in the recent zombie renaissance.
Why zombies? Why now?
What do these texts reveal about contemporary culture?
How do zombies differ from format to format, from decade to decade?
What happens when zombies start to run, talk, or use tools?
How is the zombie of the graphic novel a different creature from the zombie of the cinema, and what aspects of common ancestry do they share?
Why has the zombie been a consistent feature of the digital game, but has only recently appeared in literature?
What are the meanings of the zombie on film, and just what is the extent of their mobility?
Organised by Ewan Kirkland (University of Brighton)