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The dark history of zombies - Christopher M. Moreman

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Zombies have a distinct lineage— one that traces back to Equatorial and Central Africa. For three centuries, African people were enslaved and brought to the Caribbean Islands. There, a religion known as vodou developed, along with the belief that a person’s soul can be captured and stored, becoming a body-less zombie. Christopher M. Moreman uncovers the true origins of the undead.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Christopher M. Moreman
  • Director Kaspar Jancis
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Historical Consultant Tanya Boucicaut
  • Storyboard Artist Kaspar Jancis
  • Animator Hleb Kuftseryn, Dashka Dementeva
  • Art Director Gyopár Orsolya Buzási , Kaspar Jancis
  • Composer Salil Bhayani
  • Music cAMP Studio
  • Sound Designer Nirana Singh, cAMP Studio
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Associate Editorial Producer Cella Wright
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Below you will find a list of further reading on zombies that covers a wide range of perspectives on the subject.

Bishop, Kyle. American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead in Popular Culture. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010.

Boluk, Stephanie, and Wulie Lenz (eds.). Generation Zombie: Essays on the Living Dead in Modern Culture. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011.

Christie, Deborah, and Sarah Juliet Lauro (eds.). Better Off Dead: The Evolution of the Zombie as Post-Human. New York: Fordham University Press, 2011.

Cosentino, Donald J. (ed.). Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou. Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 1995.

Dendle, Peter. The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2000.

Dendle, Peter. The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, Vol. 2: 2000–2010. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012.

Desmangles, Leslie G. The Faces of the Gods: Vodou and Roman Catholicism in Haiti. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992.

Greene, Richard, and K. Silem Mohammad (eds.). The Undead and Philosophy. Chicago: Open Court, 2006.

Hurston, Zora Neale. Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1938.

Lauro, Sarah Juliet. The Transatlantic Zombie: Slavery, Rebellion, and Living Death. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2015.

Lauro, Sarah Juliet. Zombie Theory: A Reader. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

McIntosh, Shawn, and Marc Leverette (eds.). Zombie Culture: Autopsies of the Living Dead. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008.

Moreman, Christopher M. Dharma of the Dead: Zombies, Mortality, and Buddhist Philosophy. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2018.

Moreman, Christopher M., and Cory James Rushton (eds). Race, Oppression and the Zombie: Essays on Cross-Cultural Appropriations of the Caribbean Tradition. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011.

Moreman, Christopher M., and Cory James Rushton (eds). Zombies Are Us: Essays on the Humanity of the Walking Dead. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011.

Paffenroth, Kim. Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero’s Visions of Hell on Earth. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2006.

Sheller, Mimi. Consuming the Caribbean: From Arawaks to Zombies. London: Routledge, 2003.

Yuen, Wayne (ed.). The Walking Dead and Philosophy: Zombie Apocalypse Now. Chicago: Open Court, 2012.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Christopher M. Moreman
  • Director Kaspar Jancis
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Historical Consultant Tanya Boucicaut
  • Storyboard Artist Kaspar Jancis
  • Animator Hleb Kuftseryn, Dashka Dementeva
  • Art Director Gyopár Orsolya Buzási , Kaspar Jancis
  • Composer Salil Bhayani
  • Music cAMP Studio
  • Sound Designer Nirana Singh, cAMP Studio
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Associate Editorial Producer Cella Wright
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler

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