Media, Information and Technoculture 1020E Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: George A. Romero, Print Culture, Zombie

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Three Ways to Watch Zombies
Three ways to think about media
1. Medium Theory
Media as technology
What are the means by which different media reach us?
How does the speed, scope, interactivity of media affect us?
Print culture, electronic culture or digital culture
1. Cultural Studies
Media as texts
What is the meaning or message of media content?
How do media as systems of signs (language, image, sound) represent the world?
What does the media have to say about the view of society?
How do audiences interpret the media?
Considers gender, race and class issues
1. Political Economy
Media as commodities
Where is the money in media?
Who owns and profits from media? How do they relate to their workers and audiences?
Are there alternatives to corporate media?
Medium Theory Zombies
The Walking Dead: latest in different types of zombie media
Oral (story telling)
Print (books)
Electronic/digital media (TV-film-radio/internet)
Zombies origins in Haiti 18th century culture of slave labour
Some appearance in 19th century novels (e.g. Frankenstein)
Big breakout in UD film 1960s and 70s- George Romero: Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, etc.
2000s- more film, video games, graphic novel, TV with digital distribution
Why did zombies skip mainstream print culture?
Never as big in books than in digital media
Do not have complex characters, mindless; opposite of complex personalities characterized by
books
They are imagistic and faced paced media forms; very well suited to conveying the idea of
zombies visual appearance (gore, horror)
Graphic novel is more visual; therefore the exception of print media
Cultural Studies Zombies
Zombies don't exist, so what do they represent?
The end of the world- zombie apocalypse
Rebuilding societies from the ground up
Profound way to convey human nature
Who are the zombies?
Migrants?
Terrorists?
AIDS, SARS, Ebola?
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