Friday, October 24, 2008

Night of the Living Dead

[Link: Google Video]
[Link: Internet Archive]

With Halloween approaching, we offer the 1968 George A. Romero classic, Night of the Living Dead. While not the first zombie movie (that honor goes to the 1932 Victor Halperin film, White Zombie, starring the legendary Bela Lugosi), Night of the Living Dead redefined the genre, spawned a ravenous horde of sequels and imitators, and its influence has infected virtually all media, from movies, books, and music to comic books and video games (there is even a zombie musical).

Outside of a few dark corners of literary studies, anthropology, comparative religion, zombies have until recently gained scant scholarly attention. But within the last decade they have come out of the darkness of pop culture into the light of academia, where these mindless creatures have given rise to serious thought. The philosopher David B. Chalmers used the idea of a zombie to critique generally accepted notions of human consciousness. His book, The Conscious Mind, provoked an onslaught of responses within philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science.

True to their nature, zombies have proven difficult to put down, even in the scholarly world. The zombie infection has slowly spread to other disciplines. In business, zombies have inspired the concept of “zombie firms” -- inefficient, debt-ladden firms which only continue to survive due to support from national banks,and in computer science, there is the “zombie computer” -- an idle computer whose security has been compromised and is being exploited by another. There was even a recent call for papers on interdisciplinary zombie studies. (If interested, you'd better hurry. The deadline is October 31st!)

Chalmers, David B. (1996) The Conscious Mind. New York: Oxford University Press. [Link: NetLibrary]

Cavanaugh, Tim. “We the Living Dead: The Convoluted Politics of Zombie Cimema.” Reason Magazine. Febuary 2007. [Link: Reason Online]

Hoshi, Takeo. 2006. "ECONOMICS OF THE LIVING DEAD." Japanese Economic Review 57, no. 1: 30-49. [Link: Ebsco - Business Source Complete]

Paffinroth, Kim (2006). Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero's Visions of Hell on Earth. Waco, Tx.: Baylor University Press. [Link: NetLibrary]

Kirk, Robert (2006). “Zombies.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = .