Talk reflects on zombies, world ecology and gender

Find out the connection between zombies, world ecology and gender when Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean (CERLAC) visiting scholar Professor Kerstin Oloff talks today (Thursday).

The talk, “Zombies, Gender and World-Ecology: Ana Lydia Vega’s and Mayra Montero’s Feminist Eco-KerstinOloffGothic Narratives”, will take place Oct. 17, from 12:30 to 2:30pm, at 626 Kaneff Tower, Keele campus.

Kerstin Oloff

Registering the impact of the ecological revolutions through which the capitalist world-system unfolded, the figure of the zombie sits at the fault lines of racial, class, gender and environmental violence.

The classic zombie figure toiling on the plantation fields may be read as a cultural response to capitalism’s development through the ruthless exploitation and commoditisation of labour and nature. Further, the figure of the white female zombie, a staple of the imperial imagination, registers on the level of what one might term the work’s ecological unconscious the imbrications of nature-society relations.

In their more recent texts from the last decade of the 20th century, Ana Lydia Vega and Mayra Montero employ the female zombie figure to reflect on various forms of structural, environmental and symbolic violence, and to formulate a critique of the imperial gothic. Their texts speak to, and perhaps help to bring together, eco-feminist and world-ecological strands of thought.

Oloff, a professor at Durham University, is the co-editor of Perspectives on the Other America (Rodopi, 2009).

The talk is co-sponsored by the Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics, the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Program and the Centre for Feminist Research.