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Wilkinson College

» Wilkinson College Presents: Surviving the End of the World, Interstices 2017

“Most people don't believe something can happen until it already has. That's not stupidity or weakness, that's just human nature.”
Max Brooks, World War Z

We are excited to announce bestselling author Max Brooks
and The Walking Dead's Sarah Wayne Callies
as part of Interstices 2017! 

Thursday, April 6, 2017
7 p.m.
Chapman Auditorium
Memorial Hall


Why are we so fascinated by the sense of an ending? Why are shows like, ‘The Walking Dead’, and films like ‘World War Z’ so popular, and what can we learn from them? Let’s talk the realities, myths and stories of disaster and apocalypse! Join feature speakers from the arts and sciences as we discuss disaster scenarios and how to survive them- themes will be drawn from cultural texts, including The Walking Dead and World War Z.
No reservations or tickets required.
View official event page

Event Synopsis:
This will be an interdisciplinary panel discussion on the realities, myths, and stories of disaster and apocalypse. The event will feature speakers from the arts and sciences; topics will include: how to prepare for disasters, how to survive them, and what forms are they likely to take; why are we so fascinated by this sense of an ending?; why are shows like ‘The Walking Dead’ and films like ‘World War Z’ so popular and what can we learn from them? The panelists will be invited to discuss a range of disaster scenarios and how to survive them. In keeping with our theme, many of these scenarios will be drawn from cultural texts, including The Walking Dead and World War Z.


Panelists Will Include:

Max Brooks

Max Brooks, Best Selling Author

Max Brooks is credited with helping propel zombie-lore from niche sub-culture fascination to mainstream pop-culture obsession. While Brooks has published three massively successful zombie-themed books—The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z, and The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks (all of which are now considered the definitive tomes for the genre)—his ultimate goal was to challenge old ways of thinking and encourage mental agility and flexibility for problem solvers and leaders. By developing the dystopian mythos of a “zombie apocalypse” in film and literature, Brooks continues to drive the dialogue as an authority on how to manage and coordinate emergency responses and to suggest better ways to prepare for crisis and struggle. Brooks’ unique, unconventional thinking depicted in his books has even inspired the U.S. military to examine how they may respond to potential crises in the future.  ‘Survival Guide’ was read and discussed by the sitting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Brooks has been invited to speak at a variety of military engagements—from the Naval War College, to the FEMA hurricane drill at San Antonio, to the nuclear "Vibrant Response" wargame. By developing the dystopian mythos of a “zombie apocalypse” in film and literature, Brooks continues to drive the dialogue as an authority on how to manage and coordinate emergency responses and to suggest better ways to prepare for crisis and struggle.

Sarah Wayne Callies

Sarah Wayne Callies, Actress

Sarah Wayne Callies has made an indelible impression on audiences worldwide by portraying complex and unique women. Most notably, she starred as ‘Lori Grimes’ in AMC’s critically acclaimed series, “The Walking Dead” and as Dr. Sara Tancedi in Fox’s international hit drama “Prison Break.” 

Callie will next be seen on television starring in Fox’s highly-anticipated drama series “Prison Break.” She will reprise her roll as Dr. Sara Tancredi. “Prison Break” is an American television serial drama created by Paul Scheuring, that was broadcast on Fox for four seasons, from 2005 to 2009.

Callies also co-stars in USA’s drama series “Colony” opposite Josh Holloway. She plays ‘Katie Bowman,’ a woman navigating dangerous ethical decisions to protect her family in occupied Los Angeles. The show was created by Carlton Cuse (“LOST”) and Ryan Condal (“Hercules”). The second season premiered in January 2017.

On the feature side, Callies starred opposite Nicolas Cage in Voltage Films’ “Pay the Ghost,” directed by Uli Edel. The film opened in September 2015. She can also be seen in the film “The Other Side of the Door,” written and directed by Johannes Roberts for Fox. The film was shot on location in Mumbai, India and opened in March 2016.

Other feature credits include starring as Allison Stone in Warner Brothers’ action-packed “Into the Storm,” directed by Steven Quale. In “Black November,” Callies starred alongside Kim Basinger, Mickey Rourke, Anne Heche, Akon and Wyclef Jean. The film was directed by Jeta Amata, shot on location in Nigeria, and is the only film to ever be screened for the United Nations General Assembly. In Universal’s “Whisper” Callies worked opposite Joel Edgerton, and in Benoit Phillipon’s “Lullaby for Pi” she composed and performed an original song in addition to acting opposite Rupert Friend.

In 2013, Callies returned to her stage roots, starring opposite Finn Whitrock in the Kennedy Center's production of "The Guardsman" in a new translation by Richard Nelson and directed by Gregory Mosher.

Callies has worked for over ten years with the International Rescue Committee, (IRC), a humanitarian organization dedicated to aid for refugees worldwide. Callies has worked in their camps in Iraq, Jordan and Thailand and her blogs can be found on the Huffington Post. In 2010, Callies was named the first “Voice” for the organization.

Raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Callies attended Dartmouth College and obtained a Master of Fine Arts from Denver’s National Theater Conservatory.  She lives with her family in British Columbia, Canada.

Ann Gordon

Ann Gordon, PhD, Political Science, Chapman University

Dr. Ann Gordon is associate dean of Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and an associate professor of political science. She is the director of the Ludie and David C. Henley Social Sciences Research Laboratory. Dr. Gordon has published three books and numerous articles. She is Co-PI of the ongoing Chapman Survey of American Fears (CSAF), leading the team studying disasters and preparedness. The CSAF has been featured in over 800 print and broadcast media including the New York Times, The Huffington Post, CBS This Morning, Yahoo News, Good Housekeeping, the Washington Post, USA Today, and TIME. Dr. Gordon works with emergency managers in Southern California on communicating preparedness to the public.



Jeffery Bratberg, Pharm. D., BCPS, University of Rhode Island

The CDC, AMC's "The Walking Dead" and Max Brooks’ zombie response books inspired Dr. Bratberg to create a zombie response class, complete with a student-designed and staffed mass dispensing exercise of “Zombivir" for infection prophylaxis, but not bites. Dr Bratberg, an infectious diseases and public health  professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Rhode Island, had previously taught students in his elective class, “Public Health Consequences of Infectious Diseases”, how to write and test comprehensive bioterrorism and pandemic influenza response plans.  He has worked as a consultant to the state to help Rhode Island cities and towns prepare for disasters, and he designed, participated in, and evaluated dozens of municipal and statewide drills in this role. Dr. Bratberg served with the RI-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team responding to Hurricane Katrina. His research interests include expanding pharmacists’ roles in public health, particularly in prevention of opioid drug overdose and death, infectious diseases prevention, expansion of immunization practice, and emergency preparedness.


Javier Moscoso, Ph.D., Institute of History, Spanish National Research Council, Spain

Javier Moscoso, a research professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid, has begun to make a living on the pain of others after the publication of his book, Pain: A Cultural History. This book published first in English (Palgrave 2012), then in Spanish and later in French, has been highly praised by critics, and no doubt, contains a full chapter on the pleasures involved in the contemplation of real or imaginary global disasters. He was also the curator of a famous exhibition on Pain that took place at the London Science Museum in the year 2000. When he is not researching on physical suffering or emotional distress, Moscoso coordinates a multi-disciplinary research group that works on the theatricality of collective and private emotions. His forthcoming book deals with the history of broken promises and shattered dreams.