Many of our Advisory Board members were happy to contribute to the most recent episode of The Why Factor; a program presented by BBC Current Affairs producer Shabnam Grewal. Dedicated to our cultural fascination of the living dead, this brilliant episode examines both the history and deeper meaning of zombies throughout the centuries and across continents.
Professor, author, and Zombie Research Society Advisory Board member Brendan Riley recently joined our resident survival expert, United States Navy officer, and fellow Advisory Board member Cameron Carlson to discuss why so many people continue to be fascinated by the undead. This particular episode of The Why Factor is a wonderful exploration into the zombie phenomenon; from its roots in Haitian voodoo tradition to modern popular culture.
… Zombies have been around for more than a hundred years. They first came to the attention of the American public through a book called The Magic Island, about Haiti written by William Seabrook in 1929. And we will be exploring why many say there’s more to Zombies than a reliable source of Hollywood horror. Perhaps they tell us something about significant, deep divisions at large in society. We will be tracing their history through the centuries and continents – from Africa through to Central America, the US and Europe.
Shabnam Grewal and her team have produced an entertaining, educational, and engaging piece that we highly recommend! In addition to our Advisory Board members, they interview Columbia University Professor Kaiama Glover and Harvard anthropologist Jean Comaroff who offer a fascinating perspective on the tenuous Haitian link regarding the living dead that has been mostly abandoned by many modern sociologists and scientists who study the subject.
It also provides wonderful insight into the way academics and historians often recontextualize ancient Haitian zombies and apply that outdated framework to the modern concept of the living dead, despite its radical transformation during the latter half of the twentieth century.
But that’s just one of the many interesting topics discussed during the program. So if you’re hungry for more, we suggest that you check out this episode of The Why Factor online right now via the BBC; just click here to listen! And please visit their official website for even more great episodes on topics like dinosaurs, Antarctica, and the hierarchy of musical instruments.
In the meantime, the Zombie Research Society itself remains dedicated to the current culture, science, and survival of the living dead. All of our fellow members and researchers continue to look forward by studying and examining the biological origins, possible sources, and eventual effects of the inevitable zombie apocalypse; because what you don’t know can eat you!