We invite you to interact with our digital exhibit to learn more about why the zombie is the most important modern myth of our time.
The persistent notoriety of zombies as cannibalistic anti-humans across television, film, and print media, strengthens their imprint as enduring reflections of our social anxieties and fears. This born-digital exhibit presents thoughtful analysis and creative exploration on the semiotics of zombie media from the perspectives of some of the genre’s most avid connoisseurs. The exhibit is the collaborative effort of students in the Spring 2018 advanced sociolinguistics seminar, Discourse, Dystopia, and Democracy, with instructor, Professor Jamie A. Thomas at Swarthmore College. This digital scholarship also includes contributions from students of her 2017 and 2016 freshman seminars on Languages of Fear, Racism, and Zombies, also at Swarthmore College.
Across this online exhibit, the framework of Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis is applied in examination of race, gender, sexuality, and power relations. Each contribution to the exhibit critiques an aspect of zombie culture, from the visual to the textual. This includes novels and narratives such as World War Z, Heart of Darkness, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and Twelve Years a Slave; as well as films White Zombie, Night of the Living Dead, Pontypool, Warm Bodies, and Get Out. We also explore television episodes of The Walking Dead, X-Files, and Bear Grylls’ Man vs. Wild.