Digging Deep into the Zombie Complex with J. G. Michael

I was very happy to have conversation recently with J G Michael on his excellent podcast Parallax Views. J.G. asked some excellent questions that allowed us to dig deeper than usual into the historical, psychological and contemporary political implications of the zombie complex.

In it we discuss conceptions of the soul in Haitian Vodou; its role in the revolution and later suppression; primitivism, negrophilia and the romance of revolutionary Vodou amongst avant-garde intellectuals; George Bataille’s ideas about revolutionary violence, excess and General Economy; the notion of somnambulistic trance in debates about cinema and mass media; Papa Doc Duvalier’s political use of Vodou during the dictatorship; and US-UK anti-Vodou Black Ops in the 1940’s and Cold War .

It was good to be drawn into a theoretical discussion about J.G’s interview with Frank B. Wilderson III, author of Afropessimism, and to air some grievances about Wade Davis, author of Serpent and the Rainbow (1985).

Recent Podcasts and Review

I’ve recently had the good fortune to have been interviewed on two excellent podcasts. The first was with the blogger Meta-Nomad on his fringe philosophy and esotericist podcast Hermitix where I speak about Bataille, the Bwa Kayiman ceremony, zombies, Mark Fisher and Nick Land. The second was with Ryan Peverly for his Occulture podcast where we discuss Bataille’s philosophy of horror, the racial configuration of the zombie figure and speculate about their implications for zombie apocalypse narratives.

Daniel Miller has written an excellent and provocative review of Undead Uprising  – Progress and The Voodoo Gods – at Social Matter. 

The Militarization of Aid

Here is a PDF of my essay ‘The Militarization of Aid as an Act of Religious Violence’ which was recently published in the Transmission Annual publication on Catastrophe. In the essay I reflect upon the militarization of aid in post-earthquake Haiti from the perspective of George Bataille’s Theory of Religion.

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