Mythology and the Movies

Elective Courses

CINE 106 - Mythology and the Movies

ANTH 160
401 |Krasniewicz, Louise |TR 10:30am-12pm |MUSE B17

This year's topic is "The Living Dead: Myths and Movies about Zombies, Vampires, Ghosts, Ghouls, Ancestors, Cyborgs, Mummies, and other things that won't stay down." Mythology deals with stories that help us make sense of the world around us in a way that rationality and science often cannot. In the world of logic and rationality, the  categories of "the living" and "the dead" are considered different and distinctive. But in the world of mythology—both ancient and contemporary—the dead can walk, the living interact with them, and it's often hard to distinguish the deceased from the still alive. This course explores the ancient myths of the Living Dead and then applies these ideas to the present day where we find a vast array of media and activities devoted to blurring the boundaries between living humans and the animated dead. We will look at movies, television shows, graphic novels, comics, video games, arcade games, live-action games, novels, parody novels, fan cultures, and traditional myths and folktales that show us the connections between the living, the barely living, the seemingly dead, the merely dead, the ghostly dead, the walking dead, the cursed dead, the ancient dead, machine life, and everything in-between. Media covered will include HBO's True Blood series; the Twilight Saga books, fan culture, and movies; AMC's The Walking Dead and its graphic novels; the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies parody novel and graphic novel; the "Plants vs Zombies" online and computer game; the "Humans vs. Zombies" role-playing game; the "World War Z" novel and "The Zombie Survival Guide" by Max Brooks; the "Thriller" music video; and other zombie-themed video games and zombie machinima. Movies studied will include Shaun of the DeadNight of the Living DeadThe MummyThe IllusionistPirates of the CaribbeanPride and PrejudiceTwilightThe Serpent and the Rainbow,InceptionThe UninvitedThe HauntingThe Ghost and Mrs. MuirZombielandWhite ZombieTerminatorDawn of the DeadI Walked with a ZombieGhostJust Like Heaven, and 28 Days Later. The class may conduct a campus-wide game of Humans vs. Zombies or a zombie walk as part of the course activities exploring the gaming aspects of the class themes. In addition, each student will create a final media project (a video, comic book, game, machinima, website, etc.) about the social conditions during a zombie apocalypse.

last updated 06/24/2014 - 9:33am

Cinema Studies Program
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