The Intranet of the Living Dead

The University of Chicago Press
Publication Type:
Zombies in the Academy: Living Death in Higher Education, 2013, 1, pp. 121 - 136
Issue Date:
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Myths and stories sometimes tell us information we prefer not to observe consciously. This article argues there is a homology between cyborgs and zombies, by considering the Cybermen in the long running British TV programme Doctor Who, and discussing peoples experience of computing and networking in Universities. A secondary theme is that cyborgs are ordering devices which create disorder by being overly inclusive and suppressing waht they do not deign to perceive. Computerisation and intranet usage helps spread zombification (bureaucracy, administration and mindless or pointless labour) throughout the university. While cyborgs generally make optimistic theory and people proudly announce they are cyborgs, few make similar claims about being zombies. However, the myths have parallels and point to similar dynamics and anxieties. Cyborg myths encapsulate some aspects of reality better than cyborg theory, and help explain why people would embrace zombification.
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