Not only has Connor Jackson graduated from Edge Hill University today with a Distinction in his Film and Media MA, his coursework is set to feature in an upcoming essay collection on zombies.

Connor, who is from Workington in West Cumbria, originally studied for a BA (Hons) English at Edge Hill from which he graduated in 2015 with First Class Honours, before embarking on his Masters.

During one of his third year English Language modules, Connor took advantage of the opportunity to incorporate his enthusiasm about geek culture, particularly with regards to video games, into his essays as well as writing articles for Edge Hill’s Vibe Media. He also wrote essays about the movies Coraline and The Hunger Games which sparked his interest in Film Studies.

Connor’s work will be published alongside other academic essays in the upcoming book Romancing the Zombie: Falling in Love with the Undead in the 21st Century (McFarland Publishing Company).

“I am very excited about my work being chosen to feature in a zombie collection. It evolved from a piece of coursework I was doing for my MA module Media, Culture and Identities; which involved a range of thought-provoking lectures and seminars on varying facets of identity, such as gender and sexuality.

“The essay explores the parallels between homophobia and the discrimination faced by the undead in the BBC zombie-drama In The Flesh. In the programme, the zombies are cured of their hunger for human flesh and subsequently reintegrated back into society. The romances between some of the characters within this show tie into the developing trend of zombies as love interests, which can also be observed in the book Warm Bodies (as well as its film adaptation) and the popular television show iZombie.

“Additionally, my dissertation Undead Terrors in the Digital World: The Impact of 9/11 on Zombie Video Game Narratives, enabled me to fuse zombie studies with video game studies. For this I was able to write an extensive piece on horror video games, such as those belonging to the Resident Evil, Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising series of games. I’ve always loved zombie games, and have been a fan of Resident Evil for years, which made this project incredibly exciting for me.”

Connor aspires to be a teacher and is currently working towards a PGCE in Further Education at Edge Hill. He would also like to study for a PhD sometime in the future.