Screening Contagion Film Series: ‘The Seventh Seal’

HUMANITIES BROADCAST: A panel discussion including Christine Johnson, associate professor of history; Jen Arch, senior lecturer in English; and Christina Ramos, assistant professor of history, all from Washington University - Screening Contagion Film Series

The Screening Contagion Film Series invites you to view four pandemic films, then attend a series of panel discussions with faculty drawn from a variety of disciplines. The four films include a Hollywood blockbuster (Steven Soderbergh, Contagion), a classic of world cinema (Ingmar Bergman, The Seventh Seal), a horror comedy (Edgar Wright, Shaun of the Dead) and a contemporary documentary about the Wuhan lockdown (Ai Weiwei, Coronation). How might these films help us understand pandemics in the past, present and future? How does our own pandemic moment inform how we view these films? Please join us for a wide-ranging conversation with faculty in the humanities, arts and medicine as they help us make sense of our own experiences with COVID-19.

Film discussions take place February 11, March 11, April 8 and April 29.

This film discussion series is free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 11 discussion: Ingmar Bergman, The Seventh Seal (1957)

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

View a recording of this discussion here

Members of the Washington University community (with a WUSTL key) may view the film prior to the discussion here. (Click on “WUSTL online resource” to be connected to the film.) All others can find stream/rent/buy options on


Jen Arch, Senior Lecturer in English, Washington University

Erkki Huhtamo, Professor of Design Media Arts and Professor of Film, Television, and Digital Media, UCLA

Christine Johnson, Associate Professor of History, Washington University 

Christina Ramos, Assistant Professor of History, Washington University

View a recording of this discussion here.