Since psychoanalyst Nicolas Abraham introduced the notion of the crypt, various authors have employed ghosts to explain how the past still haunts the present. Derrida's hauntology (specters of Marx) does this in reference to the spirit of Marx that haunts the post-1989 world, whereas Marx himself began his famous manifesto with reference to the spectre of communism haunting Europe, and compared capital to a vampire that lives by sucking labor. On the other side of the politico-economical spectrum, Adam Smith's invisible hand makes us do stuff we never intended to do.
More recently, the figure of the zombie has been mobilized to explain what we become under neoliberal capitalism - human capital, driven by forces into which we have no insight and over which we have no control. Interestingly, in Hollywood films made during the Cold War, zombies and zombie-like figures are still often made to resemble a Soviet citizen, mindlessly subscribing to a centralized form of governance (Invasion of the Body Snatchers). Apparently, these ghostly beings can be appropriated by diverse political agendas.
In this course, we would trace some of these trajectories in texts and films in order to find out how the undead are mobilized in political discourse, how these figures function heuristically, what they explain and fail to explain, and what potential lies in their actual origins. We might read essays by Nicolas Abraham, Jacques Derrida, sections from Joseph Vogl's Gespenst des Kapitals, and Lauro and Embry's Zombie Manifesto. Additionally, we might watch a few zombie movies.
The number of meetings will depend on interest.