James McFarland is a fellow during the whole second year of the Cinepoetics Center. His expertise in the field of genre theory and historiography will contribute vastly to the Center’s research focus during the academic year 2016/17.
For his PhD. at Princeton University, New Jersey, James McFarland studied Friedrich Nietzsche and Walter Benjamin. His work was published as “Friedrich Nietzsche and Walter Benjamin in the Now-Time of History” by Fordham University Press. At present, he is Assistant Professor of German, Cinema and Media Arts at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. His key interests include film historical as well as theoretical studies that find their basis in idealist philosophy and critical theory. Currently, his research focuses on the global pop cultural image of the carnivorous zombie, as it presented itself in George A. Romero’s Night of the Livnig Dead (1968) for the first time. Since then, the image has gained enormous popularity in a diverse spectrum of media and genres.
Titled “The Zombie-Image: Biopolitical Disintegration and the Persistence of Cinema”, James McFarland’s research focuses on zombies as an audiovisual image in the contemporary merging of technological and cultural possibilities. Here, he identifies an implicit historiography in this apocalyptic scenario. Furthermore, he follows the implied mass political ideas to create an elaborate concept of cinematic indexicality that is able to fathom the possibilities of the zombie-image.