Zombie. The word alone recalls images of shuffling, decaying corpses, of creatures seeking human flesh, of the living dead. Dr Louise Fenton will examine how the zombie originated in the films of the Golden Age of Hollywood. In early films the zombie was firmly in a Haitian and Caribbean context, a benign creature created to serve. The zombie then fell into decline during the 1950s, however, Louise will show examples of how it was represented during this time and how the zombie began to be detached from its cultural origins. It was then in the 1960s that the zombie became the flesh-eating creature that we are more familiar with today. Louise will discuss the zombie in films such as White Zombie (1932) and I Walked with a Zombie (1943), Plague of the Zombies (1966) and Night of the Living Dead (1968).

This is a fully illustrated talk with film clips.

Dr Louise Fenton is a senior lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton and a cultural and social historian. She teaches contextual studies in the School of Art and supervises PhD students; she is also an artist and illustrator and uses drawing within her research. Her interest in New Orleans Voodoo began when studying for her PhD which she was awarded from the University of Warwick in 2010. Most recently Louise has appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme, ‘Beyond Belief’ and is a consultant on a new drama for BBC 3. Her research covers Haitian Vodou, New Orleans Voodoo and Witchcraft, especially curses and cursed objects.