The idea of the zombie, a corpse that has become re-animated in some fashion, has figured in human consciousness for thousands of years. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, a tale whose origins date back nearly 4,000 years, the goddess Ishtar swears, “I will knock down the gates of the netherworld. and will let the dead go up and eat the living.” Many cultures have their own stories of zombie-like creatures, such as the draug in Norse mythology, the ghoul from Arab legends, the jiangshi from ancient China, the ro-lang from Tibetan folklore, the revenant in Western Europe and the vetala from Hinduism. The creature we are most familiar with originates from Haiti, where it was believed that necromancers and practitioners of Voodoo could both create and control zombies. In this course, we will analyze the figure of the zombie across numerous films, dating from the early twentieth century through the twenty-first.

Please note this course will meet REMOTE, over Teams.