Chaos, blood, gore and some brains. Zombies are invading Duluth, again! The third annual Zombie Fest will be held on Oct. 18 in the Egyptian Theatre at the Duluth Masonic Center, doors open at 6 pm with the event starting at 7 pm. The event is free and open to the public, however free will donations or nonperishable food items for UMD’s Champ’s Cupboard are appreciated. Attendees are encouraged to get into character and dress up. This event is sponsored by the UMD College of Liberal Arts, School of Fine Arts, and Swenson College of Science and Engineering.
Zombie Fest features professors who analyze and discuss the reanimated dead. Each speaker has a unique way of looking at the undead and will examine this phenomenon through their area of expertise.
Associate Professor Jason Ford will represent the UMD Dept. of Philosophy. He will investigate the ethical actions of an unlucky victim of a zombie bite.
Ryuta Nakajima, associate professor of UMD Dept. Art and Design, will interpret the visual information associated with the fear of zombies. He will compare the antagonistic body patterns of a cuttlefish with the zombie makeup found in movies.
St. Scholastica Dept. of Communication Associate Professor Nathan Carroll will discuss the cultural anxieties reflected by the major shift in the treatment of zombies in American film.
As the 1920’s silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari plays in its entirety, UMD Dept. of Music Professor Justin Rubin will perform a live organ accompaniment. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is thought to be the first zombie movie and the first movie with a twist ending.
Zombie Fest began after a student mentioned to John Dahl, associate professor of Biology and Zombie Fest coordinator, that his philosophy professor, David Cole, had discussed the theory of killing zombies in his ethics class.
“I was interested in zombies from a biological standpoint of infection,” Dahl said. “However, the idea is applicable in many other disciplines including: finances, neurology, arts, cosmetology, music, anthropology, philosophy, political science and many others. Zombies are a common ground for almost all disciplines.”
Zombie Fest exposes students to other realms outside of their current course studies. Students can hear professors from a variety of departments sharing their own unique insights on one focus. “Students need to have fun in college,” Dahl said. “Zombie Fest allows them to have fun with their topic and others topics as well.”
In the future, Dahl hopes to invite other professors from various universities to discuss zombies.
The Monster Trifecta
Zombie Fest is the second event this year of the Monster Trifecta, a month long event dedicated to horror film and literature. The Monster Trifecta is being put on by the College of Liberal Arts and School of Fine Arts. All the events will be held at the Egyptian Theater in the Duluth Masonic Temple where seating is limited. The doors open at 6 pm as a social hour for all events. Snacking on the living is considered rude and is unwelcomed behavior at all events.
The 1922 German silent film Nosferatu by W. F. Murnau will be shown on Oct. 11 at 7 pm. Rubin will accompany the film on a antique organ. Nosferatu is one of the first silent horror films about vampires.
On Oct. 25 at 7 pm, author Benjamin Percy will be giving a reading of his novel Red Moon, a post-911 werewolf horror novel. After the reading the novel Percy will be giving autographs and the novel will be available for purchase.
Written by Katarina Menze, October 2013