Michigan Tech hosts zombies symposium

HOUGHTON — These days, it seems like zombies are everywhere.

No, not in real life. I mean in movies and TV shows, and now it has found its way onto Michigan Tech’s campus for the second straight year.

“Undead U : A Zombie Symposium” was held last night at Fisher Hall and a large crowd showed up to learn about the undead.

Humanities and bioethics professor Syd Johnson says last year’s session got a great reaction, so they brought it back, and one of the main subjects this year is how accurate pop culture depicts a possible zombie apocalypse.

“There’s some science that suggests to us that it’s possible that things like a zombie outbreak could happen,” she said. “How much it will be like the movie outbreaks when they actually happen? I don’t know, but I think they also give us a window into human nature and how humans would respond to those kinds of extreme circumstances.”

A historical and biological look at zombies was also discussed, and many references were made to zombie depictions such as those from the movie Dawn of the Dead and the popular TV show The Walking Dead.

Johnson was joined by many scholars including Tara Smith from Kent State University for their take on what exactly a zombie is.

“I suspect that the zombie doesn’t really have a mind,” she said. “If it’s a viral zombie, it’s sort of like a creature that’s been inhabited by a parasite and the parasite has taken over. So, the zombie person, him or herself, is no longer in control and it’s the parasite or the virus that’s causing it to act in the way it does.”

The lecture also mentioned that it is important to be prepared and have a zombie survival kit in case an outbreak does happen.

So what’s my plan for the zombie apocalypse? Run and hide.