Oni demons, parasites, flesh-eating giants, vampires, zombies – global pop culture is rife with monsters. The popularity of this genre is on the increase in our pandemic-riven world. Parasites particularly are ubiquitous, yet their depiction in popular culture has not attracted much attention. An ‘infectant’ that lives in or on another living organism, a parasite transforms its host as it draws on their energy to survive – often to the detriment of the host. So how does the parasite subvert the behaviour of the host, redirect their energies onto a different path, even if that is a path toward destruction?
Scientists and cultural studies scholars come together to discuss these representations and their impact in our online round table discussion on “Parasites in Popular Culture: Science and Culture at Play”, organised by the ANU Japan Institute!
Roundtable Program – 10 minutes short presentation each followed by discussion
1. Parasites in Popular Culture – Dr Anna-Sophie Jurgens
2. The Parasite and The Absorbing Man – DC & Marvel’s Parasitic Villains – Prof Stefan Buchenberger
3. “Who are the real parasites?” – Sc-fi Horror manga Parasyte – A/Prof Carol Hayes
4. Parasites – the ‘real’ thing (what Science can tell us) – Prof Alex Maier