Below is a three part essay I presented at the 2012 Southwest Texas Popular Culture Association meetings in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 9th. It was presented as part of a series of panels titled “The Apocalypse in Popular Culture.” A (much) earlier version of this paper can be found on the Sociological Images sister blog.
Below is Part 1 of a three part essay I will be presenting at the 2012 Southwest Texas Popular Culture Association meetings in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 9th. I will be presenting alongside several other scholars for a series of panels titled “The Apocalypse in Popular Culture.” A (much) earlier version of this paper can be found on the Sociological Images sister blog. Part 1 discusses the first wave of zombie cinema 1920-1950s.
If you’ve check the Huffington Post today, you will notice something very different: A “Zombie” page has replaced the usual “Culture” section of the website. Just in time for Halloween, the internet newspaper has used the growing cultural obsession with zombies to create a parody of the zombie apocalypse occurring right now in their headquarters. Why? Because why not?
Just came across the personal blog of Nick Pearce, a scholar at Durham University’s Foundation Centre, who is doing some very interesting research on higher education, technology, and zombies. I discovered his website while researching existing work on zombies and higher education, and I discovered that he is one of the scholars putting together the much-awaited anthology “Zombies in the Academy: Living Death in Higher Education” (to be published in 2012).
I was particularly drawn to an old post on “Zombies, Technology, and Capitalism,” because of Pearce’s use of the zombie metaphor in depicting some of the recent trends in higher education. He states rather eloquently:
The very general thrust is that VLEs (such as Black(magic)board, and VOODLE) replace face-to-face ‘human’ learning with undead digital teaching. These VLEs have rapidly spread across the sector (virally?) without being explicitly demanded by either teachers or students. The embedded pedagogy of these VLEs is restrictive and they offer a level of social control and conformity not possible with more traditional teaching practices.
In Pearce’s words, the Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) of today’s academy sap the human element out of the classroom (or computer screen in this case). more...