Interdisciplinary approaches to surviving the Zombie Apocalypse


The University of Windsor will host a conference on

Interdisciplinary approaches to surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
October 28-29, 2016

Download the Conference Poster

What if Zombies were real? The sheer volume of zombies in popular culture and the degree to which the zombie metaphor has spread to the mainstream begs the question, how would you survive a zombie apocalypse? This was the tongue-in-cheek approach that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did to help people think about disaster preparedness.

But preparing for the emergency scenario belies what it would take to deal with the concomitant collapse of civilization. The attraction of the zombie metaphor is that it asks people to confront what society would be without government, emergency services, military, or commerce. It also suggests that in order for civilization to survive it will need to rely on multiple disciplines working together. To explore how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world is the theme of our first interdisciplinary conference.

The Canadian Academic of Health Sciences defines interdisciplinary research as a “team of researchers from different disciplines that comes together around an important and challenging issue, the research question(s) for which is/are determined by a shared understanding in an interactive and iterative process”. Interdisciplinarity is uniquely positioned to discuss and explore the solutions to survival.

Topics are welcome that address an interdisciplinary approach to the following challenge questions:

1. In a zombie apocalypse how does civil society survive?

2. Why are we so fascinated with the zombie apocalypse?

3. How has the narrative of the zombie apocalypse evolved in film, television, literature, video games, and/or other aspects of pop culture?

4. How can we use the narrative of the zombie apocalypse to think more deeply about changes in the academy, terrorism, global warming, the spread of infectious diseases, emergency preparedness, and other important matters?

5. Practical problems posed by the zombie apocalypse metaphor:

  • Defence, which is better, walls or an army?
  • Food security
  • Environmental cleanup
  • Disease prevention and medical care
  • Please submit your paper title and a 300-word abstract by May 30.


    We are also launching an open access peer reviewed journal that encourages you to submit your work for the proceedings edition of the journal which will be published here.


    This conference has received generous donations through the University of Windsor from:

    • Alumni Association
    • The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation

    Browse the contents of Interdisciplinary approaches to surviving the Zombie Apocalypse:

    Interdisciplinary approaches to surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
    Interdisciplinary approaches to disaster preparedness