Do zombies dream of undead sheep?

zombies

by Timothy Verstynen, Bradley Voytek

Even if you’ve never seen a zombie movie or television show, you could identify an undead ghoul if you saw one. With their endless wandering, lumbering gait, insatiable hunger, antisocial behavior, and apparently memory-less existence, zombies are the walking nightmares of our deepest fears. What do these characteristic behaviors reveal about the inner workings of the zombie mind? Could we diagnose zombism as a neurological condition by studying their behavior? In Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?, neuroscientists and zombie enthusiasts Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek apply their neuro-know-how to dissect the puzzle of what has happened to the zombie brain to make the undead act differently than their human prey.

Combining tongue-in-cheek analysis with modern neuroscientific principles, Verstynen and Voytek show how zombism can be understood in terms of current knowledge regarding how the brain works. In each chapter, the authors draw on zombie popular culture and identify a characteristic zombie behavior that can be explained using neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and brain-behavior relationships. Through this exploration they shed light on fundamental neuroscientific questions such as: How does the brain function during sleeping and waking? What neural systems control movement? What is the nature of sensory perception?

Walking an ingenious line between seriousness and satire, Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep? leverages the popularity of zombie culture in order to give readers a solid foundation in neuroscience.

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12 years a slave (DVD)

12years

From acclaimed director Steve McQueen comes this “deeply evocative and brilliantly acted” film (Claudia Puig, USA Today) based on the true story of Solomon Northup. It is 1841, and Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor in a gripping performance), an accomplished, free citizen of New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Stripped of his identity and deprived of all dignity, Northup is ultimately purchased by ruthless plantation owner Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) and must find the strength within to survive. Filled with powerful performances by an astonishing cast that includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave is both an unflinching account of slavery in American history and a celebration of the indomitable power of hope.

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Knowledge, power, and Black politics : collected essays (EBOOK)

knowledgeBy Mack H. Jones

Develops an alternative framework for describing and explaining African American politics and the American political system and applies it to a number of case studies.

Few scholars have influenced the development of the study of black politics as much as Mack H. Jones. Through his writings one can trace the emergence, evolution, and maturation of the scientific study of the field. Knowledge, Power, and Black Politics brings together difficult-to-find and out-of-print essays by this important figure. In the first part of this volume Jones demonstrates how American social science creates a misleading caricature of African American life, one that can only lead to misguided public policies. He offers an alternative frame of reference, the dominant-subordinate group model, and argues that it offers greater descriptive insights and prescriptive utility for those interested in understanding politics internal to the African American community. The framework established in the first section is used to examine a broad range of topics such as the history of black politics from the period of enslavement to the modern era and the dynamics of the civil rights movement, as well as a range of contentious public policy issues, including public welfare, affirmative action, the black underclass, racism and multiculturalism, the black conservative movement, deracialization, presidential politics, and US foreign policy toward developing countries.

“For more than four decades, Mack H. Jones’s work has been pivotal in directing the scope of black politics. Although his work is widely cited, never before have his seminal writings been compiled in one volume. Taken together as a whole they provide a guidebook to the field and present a powerful commentary on black politics in the current era. With force and clarity, Jones trains his sights on the most significant issues of epistemology, historical developments, policy initiatives, and political figures and groups. His clarity of vision on the instrumental uses of knowledge to advance the principle of freedom drives his incisive analysis, intellectual rigor, and, most of all, fearlessness. We have much to continue to learn from the work assembled in this collection.” — Nikol G. Alexander-Floyd, author of Gender, Race, and Nationalism in Contemporary Black Politics

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I freed myself : African American self-emancipation in the Civil War era

freedby David Williams

For a century and a half, Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation has been the dominant narrative of African American freedom in the Civil War era. However, David Williams suggests that this portrayal marginalizes the role that African American slaves played in freeing themselves. At the Civil War’s outset, Lincoln made clear his intent was to save the Union rather than free slaves – despite his personal distaste for slavery, he claimed no authority to interfere with the institution. By the second year of the war, though, when the Union army was in desperate need of black support, former slaves who escaped to Union lines struck a bargain: they would fight for the Union if it committed itself to freedom. Williams importantly demonstrates that freedom was not simply the absence of slavery but rather a dynamic process enacted by self-emancipated African American refugees, which compelled Lincoln to modify his war aims and place black freedom at the center of his wartime policies.

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