Changing leaves, jack-o-lanterns, and massive quantities of candy can only mean one thing: Zombethics! Emory’s Center for Ethics and the Neuroethics program sponsor this annual Halloween symposium that attracts students, faculty, and staff for a lively discussion around the intersection of ethics, pop culture, and death. Every year, panelists from all disciplines come together to share their ideas, insights, and opinions on issues from the definition of death to the portrayal of monsters in pop culture. This year’s title “Really Most Sincerely Dead: Zombies, Vampires, and Ghosts, oh my!" will include discussions on The Walking Dead, vampires, the ethics of burial in the South, and more. Past themes have explored free will, the fetishizing of fear, and what end-of-life care truly means. For a glimpse into these discussions, here are interviews of past panelists describing their experience during Zombethics:
Dr. Jay Hughes recieved his PhD from the ILA in 2013. His work, which focuses on cultural representations of the South, includes work on how horror films portray monsters and "the other" in society.
Dr. Gary Laderman is the chair of the Department of Religion and studies death and dying's role in American culture, with a focus on the South.
Sam Shartar is the Senior Administrator of CEPAR and served as the Unit Director for Emergency Services at Emory University Hospital and holds certification as an Emergency Nurse.
Cory Labrecque is the Director of the Master of Artis in Bioethics program and serves as the Co-Director of Catholic Studies. He is also the head coordinator of Zombethics.
Hearing the commentary, Zombethics has been a huge success in previous years and the expectation for this year is no less. Listening to past panelists from a variety of different fields, we see the relevance of applying bioethics in engaging and innovative ways. To wrap up, we hear Cory Labrecque describe how his idea of creating a forum around difficult topics in context of horror pop culture has become a reality with the help of faculty, outside lecturers and the Atlanta community. If you listen to these clips and hear a topic that interest you or you want to witness human zombies in the flesh, please register for the event. It will be held on October 30th at the Center for Ethics. Sign up, and you'll be one step closer to being prepared for the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse!