FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ZOMBIES
JULY 5th – JULY 7th 2012, UNIVERSITÉ DU QUÉBEC À MONTRÉAL
Amphithéâtre du Cœur des Sciences (SH-2800)
Université du Québec à Montréal, 200 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Since Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero, 1968) there are few images in the contemporary aesthetics of the corpse as significant as the transmediatic and truly global figure of the living dead. After a decade marked by the “death” of zombies in movies (the 1990s), the creature has returned more eagerly (and hungry) at the turn of the millennium. And it has now invaded the most diverse aspects of our global iconosphere.
Symptomatically it is a new medium, the video game, that has somehow launched the revival of this figure which has never fully integrated the Gothic literary tradition. The success in 1996 of The House of the Dead and Resident Evil marked the comeback of a creature that would eventually recontaminate the big screen. In the aftermath of September 11 and in the shadow of the SARS pandemic, a true “zombie-mania” began. The Zombie Movie Database ZMDB lists over a hundred films produced between 2002 and 2009, and more than twenty productions are planned for 2012.
In the wake of M. Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), a curious “zombie literature” (the label exists now in several online catalogs) emerged, with such viral effects as the amazing bestseller of S. Grahame-Smith, who literally zombified the canonical Jane Austen classic (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, 2009). Comics, the medium that had previously been instrumental in the mythopoetic transformation of the modern zombie, were in turn invaded by the new wave with the now famous saga of R. Kirkman The Walking Dead (2003-) in an unprecedented zombiephile frenzy that is now feeding the other major postmodern media, television. We are also seeing a plethora of critical studies analyzing this figure that had been so far relatively disdained by the academic institution.
Following this invasion of “zombie studies”, the time has come to confront the living dead question. This first international conference on zombies will try to analyze this amazing and viral figure in all spheres of our culture.
Samuel Archibald, Université du Québec à Montréal
Antonio Dominguez Leiva, Université du Québec à Montréal
Barry Keith Grant, Brock University
Tanya Krzywinska, Brunel University West London
Denis Mellier, Université de Poitiers
Shawn McIntosh, Columbia University
Bernard Perron, Université de Montréal
Claudia Boutin, Université de Montréal