October Brings Zombie Events

This month brings midterms, Halloween costumes and the zombie apocalypse.


By Daylina Miller

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 12, 2011) – October is steeped in meaning for many cultures. For pagans, the end of the month brings Samhain, where spirits of the dead are thought to return to earth. Mexico prepares for Dia de los Muertos, a time to celebrate and remember those who have died.


For most Americans though, it’s a month to scour the aisles of the temporary Halloween stores and other outlets for the perfect costume and stock up on the fog machines. These days, zombies are at the forefront of horror-crazed minds and the University of South Florida campus has plenty of activities scheduled around the zombie theme.


Check out the panels and lectures hosted by the Humanities Institute as University of South Florida professors and special effects professionals from Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream explain why you’re willing to order that zombie flick on Netflix or pony up the money for a Howl-O-Scream or Halloween Horror Nights ticket.


You can also run around campus fighting off the infected or lurching after brains and burn off some of those candy corn calories or dress up as your favorite zombie character and run for Prom King or Queen at the Zombie Prom.


Here’s the schedule:


Monday Oct. 10 - Saturday Oct. 29:


Humans Vs Zombies (HvZ)

Prepare to fight the zombie horde in this campus-wide game of tag played at more than 600 college campuses internationally. Registration begins online at 10 p.m. on October 10. Participants will be required to attend one of the listed town hall meetings to play. The game itself will start Oct. 25 and run through Oct. 29.


Wednesday, Oct. 26:


A Brief History of the Modern Zombie: Revolutionizing Resurrection in the Empirical Age

5 p.m. MSC 3704

Dr. Sarah Juliet Lauro, UC Davis, zombie scholar and co-author of A Zombie Manifesto: The Nonhuman Condition in the Era of Advanced Capitalism, will be presenting to students on zombies as a metaphor for advanced capitalism and why they have more staying power than any other supernatural creature.


Zombie Film Double Feature

7 p.m. MSC Oval Theater

Bring your friends for a horror-filled night of classic zombie flicks. “White Zombie” is a 1932 movie widely considered to be the first full-length zombie film and the 1968 “Night of the Living Dead” still inspires shivers down the spines of all who watch it.


Thursday, Oct. 27:


Zombies 101

5 p.m. MSC 2709

Come out for this interdisciplinary panel featuring USF faculty and Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream staff. Topics and presenters:


  • Fashionably Dead: Genres in Zombie Costuming
    Marilyn Gaspardo Bertch is a USF assistant professor in the College of the Arts and will be presenting on various zombie genres and how they can be achieved with costumes and makeup. A student of hers will be doing a live (or undead) demonstration.
  • Undead Dread: Zombies and Cultural Anxiety
    Mark McCarthy is a USF PhD candidate in Communication and will be covering cultural anxieties represented by zombies in the last 10 years.
  • Undead Cinema: Reanimating the Present
    Amy Rust is an assistant professor in the USF Department of Humanities and Cultural Studies and will be discussing the affinities between zombies and filmmaking and the allegorical readings that accompany them.
  • Kids Left 4 Dead? On Zombies in Video Games
    Daniel Lende is an associate professor in the USF Department of Anthropology and will be discussing the popularity of zombies in first-person shooter games, particularly Left 4 Dead and - Call of Duty: Black Ops. He will focus on why children and teenagers like the zombie genre and what effect this has on young minds.
  • Bringing the Undead to Life
    Scott Swenson is the director of production and entertainment for Busch Gardens Tampa and will be discussing the journey from concept to performance for the zombies of Howl-O-Scream.


Undead and Outdoors

8:30 p.m. MSC Center Plaza (Outside)

Prepare to laugh and be horrified in this “Movies on the Lawn” style showing of the 2009 movie “Zombieland.” You’ll learn some rules of zombie survival and make new friends in the process. There will also be giveaways like Howl-O-Scream tickets, zombie books and more.


Sunday, Oct. 30:


Zombie Prom

8 p.m.- 11 p.m. MSC Ballroom

 Dress up as your favorite zombie character, dance to classics like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the “Monster Mash” and run for Zombie Prom King and Queen!


Daylina Miller can be reached at 813-500-8754.