Latin American Zombie Culture Discussed

Latin American Zombie Culture Discussed

03/28/2019 

Carmen Serrano, a Spanish language and culture specialist from University at Albany, will address how vampire and zombie figures have inspired Latin American films since the 1950, on Wednesday, April 3, at SUNY Cortland.

Serrano, an assistant professor of Spanish, will discuss “Newfangled Vampires and Zombies in Latin American Literature and Film” at 4:30 p.m. in Moffett Center, Room 2125.

A reception to welcome her will precede the lecture across the hall at 4 p.m. in the Rozanne M. Brooks Museum, Moffett Center, Room 2126.

The talk concludes the College’s 2018-19 Rozanne M. Brooks Lecture Series on the theme of “The Culture of Death,” which explores the anxieties felt in some cultures, contextualizing them in the 21st century Western experience. The series events are free and open to the public.

Serrano will discuss how filmmakers embrace, rival and innovate vampires and zombies that can appeal to national sensibilities.

The talk also profiles how more recent filmic representations of vampire attacks, spreading contagion, have become more aggressive, violent and zombie-like. The 21st century representations in films and television programs go beyond previous examples of contagion propagated through a few monstrous bodies within nation’s borders. Now vampires are represented as belonging to a more complicated dark web, thus expediting complete global and social collapse.

These entities virtually dismantle national institutions such as the army, the secret service, the police and other organizations important to maintaining a civil society.

These themes underscore how profit-driven national institutions and governments, beholden to ominous masters in a more global and interrelated economy, have also placed the nation and its citizens on a fast-track toward destruction.

The “Culture of Death” series talks about how various cultures view the end of life. Although inevitable and therefore of interest to all humans, cultures view death differently, many as the doorway to another, sometimes better, existence. In the West however, dying is viewed more often as something to be feared and avoided as long as possible.

The 2018-19 Brooks Lecture Series is sponsored by a grant from Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) and the Cortland College Foundation. For more information, contact Brooks Museum director Sharon Steadman, a SUNY Cortland professor of sociology/anthropology, at 607-753-2308.


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