Zombies and Indians
Instructor: Chad Uran
MW 330 – 520 p
While zombies have existed at some level of reality for centuries, it was not until the 20th Century that zombies overran the global popular imagination. Because of their origins at the many points of collision between colonizer and colonized, zombies have always walked the uncertain spaces between binary "certainties" such as us and them, rich and poor, slave and master, and, of course, alive and dead. As those spaces of uncertainty have spread through globalization, zombies became increasingly flexible and strategic syntheses across these binaries. Thus, zombies occupy a variety of liminal spaces wherein contemporary social tensions are reflected and refracted. These tensions, however, have historical and ongoing parallels with images and representations of "Indians."
This course is intended to guide students towards thinking critically through the vehicle of zombies. Zombies reveal societal ambivalence about race, class, gender, ethnicity, political power, agency, and other aspects of social reproduction—in other words, zombies touch upon all of the anxieties commonly associated with colonialism.
We will read a LOT, watch some movies, and hopefully grow to appreciate that in order to make sense of our already infested world, it’s not enough to shoot zombies in the head; we have to be able to get inside their heads as well.
Warning: this course will contain content that students may (or even should) find offensive or disturbing, including graphic language, sexual situations, religious intolerance, gore, colonialism, violence, depictions of death and dying, cannibalism, nudity, racism, sexism, classism, weightism, homophobia, and sexualized violence.
Department of American Indian Studies
University of Washington