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Profs and Pints presents: “A Brainy Look at Zombies,” with William Egginton, professor of humanities and director of the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute at Johns Hopkins University.
[Under current District of Columbia regulations attendees will be required to wear a mask except while eating or drinking. The Bier Baron will be requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test from the previous 72 hours for entry. It also will be requiring ticketed event attendees to purchase a minimum of two items, which can be food or beverages, including soft drinks.]
Zombies have popped up everywhere. For at least the last decade, it has been hard to turn on a TV in the evening, or walk city streets on nights around Halloween, without being overrun by legions of the undead. Their cultural prevalence has grown exponentially in recent years, and it shows no sign of abating. Why are our lives so filled with images of the walking dead?
Come have your braaaaaaaain filled with insights on the phenomenon from William Egginton, a scholar of horror in literature and popular culture. Professor Egginton, who has captivated Profs and Pints audiences with his discussions of Krampus and other Christmas nightmares, will be delivering the perfect talk for a Halloween afternoon, a headshot that leaves you with a better understanding of both the dead and undead.
Professor Egginton will discuss how modern zombies—as opposed to the Caribbean sort produced by voodoo masters—were conjured into existence by George Romero’s low-budget gore fest Night of the Living Dead, which premiered in 1968, a pivotal year of social and political upheaval. Ever since, zombies—despite appearing to be shambling, mindless brain-munchers—actually have managed to offer acute insights into our social and existential condition. Whether crawling out of their graves unexplained or deprived of their humanity by an apocalyptic virus, they have been teaching us something about what we fear, what we are doing to our planet, and how we treat each other.
Professor Egginton’s talk will cover a wide selection of movies, TV series, and books. Along with Romero’s original movie, he’ll explore Romero’s more recent Land of the Dead; director Danny Boyle’s game-changing realization in 28 Days Later that zombies can be fast; the cable TV juggernaut The Walking Dead; and more openly satirical fare like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die.
If you’re a connoisseur of zombie fare, missing this event would be a grave mistake. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, or $13 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)