Community of Readers talk to have feminist take on zombie apocalypse

How will nature, technology and feminism fare in a zombie apocalypse?

That is the subject of the second of a series of talks for the University of Houston-Victoria Community of Readers program at noon Nov. 7 in the Alcorn Auditorium of UHV University West, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The event is free and open to the public.

Amanda Rachelle Warren
Amanda Rachelle Warren

Amanda Rachelle Warren of the University of South Carolina Aiken will address how a zombie apocalypse might affect relationships between humans and technology, and between men and women.

“I will focus on what eco-feminism is, and how is applies to ‘World War Z,’” Warren said. “Applying eco-feminist theory to the life and death struggles of the Zombie Wars shows us how a zombie apocalypse subverts traditional western divisions between technology and nature, as well as traditional male-female roles.”

“World War Z,” by Max Brooks, is the book chosen for the 2011-2012 Community of Readers common reading program. The book takes a fictional look at how world governments cope or fail when confronted by a zombie pandemic. Students, faculty, staff and the public are invited to hear a variety of talks related to different aspects of how society would fare during a zombie uprising.

The book addresses a number of issues that relate to Warren’s academic studies.

Warren said rather than divisions between gender, wealth, power and race, the zombie invasion will effectively level the playing field between all living beings. Traditional ways of thinking about technology and nature, as well as arbitrary socio-cultural expectations, will have to be revamped.

“Each person becomes an individual entity drawing on personal strength to survive the onslaught of the undead, each becoming part of a greater human race that must use basic skills to survive, and returning to nature rather than relying on technology for survival,” she said. “Otherwise, we die.”

The book is available for purchase at local and online retailers, and copies are available to check out at the Victoria College/UHV Library and the Victoria Public Library. All UHV freshmen received a copy.

Uppinder Mehan
Uppinder Mehan

“We chose this book because it addresses aspects of science, sociology and psychology behind the zombie story line,” said Uppinder Mehan, interim chair of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences Humanities Division, and a Community of Readers committee member. “It also addresses East-West and North-South geopolitical relations, so we’ll cover many areas of study this year.”

The book is done in an interview-style format with people who have survived the zombie warfare. “World War Z” has sold more than 1 million copies worldwide.

For more information about the Community of Readers, visit or email Committee members are UHV faculty members Mehan, Casey Akins, Libby Rhoades, Dmitri Sobolev, Alireza Tavakkoli, Esperanza Camargo and Paul Carlson.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Ken Cooke 361-570-4342