Sunday, February 19, 2017

Interdisiplinary Approaches to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse and Other Zombie Matters

Early in the term, I received via e-mail an invitation to submit a paper to a conference on  Interdisciplinary Approaches to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

At the convention at Windsor University, I asked the organizers about the many academics who

submitted papers. As matters turn out, they searched the internet and other venues for people who taught and/or who published about zombies. I was flattered to find myself in this group.

As the schedule underscores, many interesting people submitted proposals and presented at the conference--and all the papers presented will get published this May, including my contribution, Compulsion and Desire in Colin, Fido, and Otto; or Up With Dead People.

The article got published in early June along with others that the peer-review process selected. You can download this (rather long) article.

My panel started matters off on Saturday, and I went first, which
made me more than a tad nervous--each presenter was supposed to limit his/her/their offering to fifteen minutes. The panel on which I served wasPanel One: Zombies in Popular Culture. 

In enjoyed my paper just sent in a formal draft.

took pictures of all the panels, taking time out from one to visit a workshop on zombie makeup. The photographs appear on the Facebook Page for the conference.

My essay developed from my paper presentation--Compulsion and Desire in Three Zombie Films: Colin, Fido, and Otto: or, Up with Dead People--got accepted for publication in the conference proceedings and will appear in early June..

The organizers just made available video of all the presentations over the conference's two-day run. I enjoyed my presentation until time ran out--I thought I had twenty minutes, but the clock struck after fifteen, which caused a bit of confusion on my part:

The conference videographers also made a short film about the conference that features around 40 of my photographs:

In October, the college did a great and flattering announcement about the publication of my article about Robocop and the zombie film Fido that got published in The Last Midnight: Essays on Apocalyptic Narratives in Millennial Media.

Peru, Nebraska- Dr. Bill Clemente, professor of English at Peru State College, has a new essay published in The Last Midnight: Essays on Apocalyptic Narratives in Millennial Media. His essay is titled “Corporate Abuse and Social Inequality in RoboCop and Fido.” writes about “The Last Midnight,” “Visions of an apocalypse began to dominate mass media well before the year 2000. Yet narratives since then present decidedly different spins on cultural anxieties about terrorism, disease, environmental collapse, worldwide conflict and millennial technologies.”

“This collection of new essays explores apocalyptic themes in a variety of post-millennial media, including film, television, video games, webisodes and smartphone apps.”

Clemente’s essay explores these issues, “’RoboCop’ draws on distress triggered by diverse issues, from the militarization of the police to the unholy alliance of wing-nut media and global corporations.“

“And ‘Fido’ references multiple issues that continue to plague the country, from soaring corporate profits made through perpetuating fears about security, to the growing disparity between the powerful super rich and the ever diminishing political influence of the middle class and the poor.”

“The Last Midnight” is Clemente’s second publication in 2016 following his article on the Cuban zombie film “Juan of the Dead,” “Zombies along the Malecón” appearing in the Spring 2016 edition of the “Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies.”

Clemente will also present at the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse conference in Windsor, Canada, about an in-progress essay, “Do Zombies Smoke After Sex? Desire and Compulsion in three Zombie films, Fido, Colin, and Otto.

Clemente’s most recent other publication is “Panem in America:  Crisis Economics and a Call for Political Engagement” in “Of Bread, Blood and The Hunger Games: Critical Essays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy.” An avid photographer and bird watcher, Clemente has also published an article about birding in “The Prairie Fire.”

Over the past few years, Clemente has created new classes for Peru State that include The Graphic Novel, Science Fiction Literature and Film, a class devoted to Zombie films, and a Children’s Literature course on Young Adult Dystopian Fiction.

“The Last Midnight” was edited by Leisa A. Clark, Amanda Firestone and Mary F. Pharr with series editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III.

Work on Zombie material continues. My essay Zombies Along the Malecon, as the PSC press release indicates,  got published this summer in the Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies.

And in January of this year, 2017, that essay got republished in an anthology of essays in Displacing the Anxieties of Our World, about which I am very excited.

In early May, I will travel to Hungary to deliver another zombie-related paper, Poll-Dancing Zombies: Sex, Sexuality, and Gender in Zombie Strippers and Zombie Stripper at a conference:

Gendering the Urban Imaginary: Fantasy, Affect, Transgression International Conference

12-13 May 2017, University of Debrecen, Hungary

In addition, I received an invitation to give a two-hour workshop about Zombies to graduate students at the Institute of English and American Studies at the University of Debrecen, which publishes HGEAS in which selected essays from the convention will appear.

So more zombie excitement in store for the near future.

I put together a presentation for Hungary, Poll Dancing Zombies: Sex, Sexuality, and Gender in Zombie Strippers that I will turn into an article in the near future.

I posted photographs from the conference
and from my 90-minute presentation, "Zombie Evolutions and Revolutions," at the Institute of English and American Studies, along with some shots of our afternoon in Budapest with my new and wonderful friend Ildikó  Limpár, an author and scholar who attended my talk and then shepherded Linda and me from Debrecen to Budapest where we spent a delightful afternoon before catching an early-morning flight back here the next day.

Busy Days at PSC

 Brain Trust: On December 2,  I dropped in on this fall's Brain Trust and met fun-filled students who enjoy various instructional and entertaining activities. I am glad that Gina Bitner reminded me! The youngsters made snow, inflated balloons, and enjoyed other activities.

And as the photographs suggest, everyone involved, from PSC students to elementary-school visitors, enjoyed their visit. To download large files, see this album on Flickr.

After Orlando, December 1: I did not record the individual presentations but hope that the photographs capture some of the excitement and emotion these multiple presentations generated. Congratulations to all who took part in this most special event.

Concert Band and Hoyt Street Jazz: On December 4, the afternoon's concerts by the Concert Band and the Hoyt Street Jazz Band offered a wonderful break from end-of-the-semester tensions for one and all. The students performed with gusto on an otherwise gray and dull day. You can download large files from Flickr. Unfortunately, my movie camera would not cooperate, but I will get video the next time around during the spring term.