The Written Dead
Author: Kyle William Bishop, Angela Tenga
From Victor Halperin's White Zombie (1932) to George A. Romero's landmark Night of the Living Dead (1968) and AMC's hugely successful The Walking Dead (2010-), zombie mythology has become an integral part of popular culture. In a reversal of the typical pattern of adaptation, the zombie developed onscreen before appearing in short stories and comic books during the 20th century, and more recently as subjects of more traditional novels. This collection of new essays examines some of the most influential and inventive zombie literature, from the early stories to the most recent narratives, including some told from a zombie perspective.
Since the early 2000s, popular culture has experienced a "Zombie Renaissance," beginning in film and expanding into books, television, video games, theatre productions, phone apps, collectibles and toys. Zombies have become allegorical figures embodying cultural anxieties, but they also serve as models for concepts in economics, political theory, neuroscience, psychology, computer science and astronomy. They are powerful, multifarious metaphors representing fears of contagion and doom but also isolation and abandonment, as well as troubling aspects of human cruelty, public spectacle and abusive relationships. This critical examination of the 21st-century zombie phenomenon explores how and why the public imagination has been overrun by the undead horde.
American Zombie Gothic
Author: Kyle William Bishop
Zombie stories are peculiarly American, as the creature was born in the New World and functions as a reminder of the atrocities of colonialism and slavery. The voodoo-based zombie films of the 1930s and ’40s reveal deep-seated racist attitudes and imperialist paranoia, but the contagious, cannibalistic zombie horde invasion narrative established by George A. Romero has even greater singularity. This book provides a cultural and critical analysis of the cinematic zombie tradition, starting with its origins in Haitian folklore and tracking the development of the subgenre into the twenty-first century. Closely examining such influential works as Victor Halperin’s White Zombie, Jacques Tourneur’s I Walked with a Zombie, Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2, Dan O’Bannon’s The Return of the Living Dead, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, and, of course, Romero’s entire “Dead” series, it establishes the place of zombies in the Gothic tradition. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
Zombies and Sexuality
Author: Shaka McGlotten, Steve Jones
Since the early 2000s, zombies have increasingly swarmed the landscape of popular culture, with ever more diverse representations of the undead being imagined. A growing number of zombie narratives have introduced sexual themes, endowing the living dead with their own sexual identity. The unpleasant idea of the sexual zombie is itself provocative, triggering questions about the nature of desire, sex, sexuality, and the politics of our sexual behaviors. However, the notion of zombie sex has been largely unaddressed in scholarship. This collection addresses that unexamined aspect of zombiedom, with essays engaging a variety of media texts, including graphic novels, films, television, pornography, literature, and internet meme culture. The essayists are scholars from a variety of disciplines, including history, theology, film studies, and gender and queer studies. Covering The Walking Dead, Warm Bodies, and Bruce LaBruce's zombie-porn movies, this work investigates the cultural, political and philosophical issues raised by undead sex and zombie sexuality.
Zombies Are Us
Author: Christopher M. Moreman, Cory James Rushton
"In this volume, essays by scholars from a range of disciplines examine the zombie as a thematic presence in literature, film, video games, legal language, and philosophy, exploring topics including zombies and the environment, litigation, the afterlife, capitalism, and the erotic. The authors seek to discover what the zombie can teach us about being human"--Provided by publisher.
Author: Stephanie Boluk, Wylie Lenz
Growing from their early roots in Caribbean voodoo to their popularity today, zombies are epidemic. Their presence is pervasive, whether they are found in video games, street signs, hard drives, or even international politics. These eighteen original essays by an interdisciplinary group of scholars examine how the zombie has evolved over time, its continually evolving manifestations in popular culture, and the unpredictable effects the zombie has had on late modernity. Topics covered include representations of zombies in films, the zombie as environmental critique, its role in mass psychology.
Living with Zombies
Author: Chase Pielak, Alexander H. Cohen
Depictions of the zombie apocalypse continue to reshape our concept of the walking dead (and of ourselves). The undead mirror cultural fears--governmental control, lawlessness, even interpersonal relationships--exposing our weaknesses and demanding a response (or safeguard), even as we imagine ever more horrifying versions of post-apocalyptic life. This critical study traces a shift in narrative focus in portrayals of the zombie apocalypse, as the living move from surviving hypothetical destruction toward reintegration and learning to live with the undead.
Better Off Dead
Author: Deborah Christie, Sarah Juliet Lauro
Publisher: Fordham Univ Press
What has the zombie metaphor meant in the past? Why does it continue to be, so prevalent in our culture? This collection seeks to provide an archaeology of the zombietracing its lineage from Haiti, mapping its various cultural transformations, and suggesting the post-humanist direction in which the zombie is ultimately heading.
Romancing the Zombie
Author: Ashley Szanter, Jessica K. Richards
The zombie—popular culture’s undead darling—shows no signs of stopping. But as it develops to suit changing audience tastes, its characteristics transform. This collection of new essays examines the latest incarnation, the romantic zombie, a re-humanized monster we want to help, heal and connect with rather than destroy. The authors discuss our increasingly sympathetic view of the reanimated dead as more than physical bodies devoid of life and personality. Their essays cover a range of topics, including audience obsession with Apocalyptic love; the problem of a kinder, gentler undead; the millennial reinvention of the “sexy zombie”; and “uncanny valley romance.”
Author: Murali Balaji
Publisher: Lexington Books
Thinking Dead: What the Zombie Apocalypse Means, edited by Murali Balaji, examines various aspects of the zombie apocalypse scenario from the perspective of a variety of theoretical frameworks. Essays in the collection shed light on why we are so obsessed with the undead. This is a cutting-edge volume for the growing scholarship on media representations of zombies.
Part pop culture trope, part hypothetical cataclysm, the zombie apocalypse is rooted in modern literature, film and mythology. This collection of new essays considers the implications of this scientifically impossible (but perhaps imminent) event, examining real-world responses to pandemic contagion and civic chaos, as well as those from Hollywood and popular culture. The contributors discuss the zombie apocalypse as a metaphor for actual catastrophes and estimate the probabilities of human survival and behavior during an undead invasion.
Author: Shawn McIntosh, Marc Leverette
Publisher: Scarecrow Press
Why have zombies resonated so pervasively in the popular imagination and in media, especially films? Why have they proved to be one of the most versatile and popular monster types in the growing video game industry? What makes zombies such widespread symbols of horror and dread, and how have portrayals of zombies in movies changed and evolved to fit contemporary fears, anxieties, and social issues? Zombies have held a unique place in film and popular culture throughout most of the 20th century. Rare in that this enduring monster type originated in non-European folk culture rather than the Gothic tradition from which monsters like vampires and werewolves have emerged, zombies have in many ways superseded these Gothic monsters in popular entertainment and the public imagination and have increasingly been used in discussions ranging from the philosophy of mind to computer lingo to the business press. Zombie Culture brings together scholars from a variety of fields, including cinema studies, popular culture, and video game studies, who have examined the living dead through a variety of lenses. By looking at how portrayals of zombies have evolved from their folkloric roots and entered popular culture, readers will gain deeper insights into what zombies mean in terms of the public psyche, how they represent societal fears, and how their evolving portrayals continue to reflect underlying beliefs of The Other, contagion, and death.
"We're All Infected"
Author: Dawn Keetley
"There’s a lot to sink your teeth into here."--Library Journal "Exhibits a clear sense of structural coherence and critical timeliness. This collection...indicates an expansve awareness of both the developmental history of the zombie, as well as the posthuman trajectory of future zombie narratives."--The Gothic Imagination This edited collection brings together an introduction and 13 original scholarly essays on AMC's The Walking Dead. The essays in the first section address the pervasive bloodletting of the series: What are the consequences of the series' unremitting violence? Essays explore violence committed in self-defense, racist violence, mass lawlessness, the violence of law enforcement, the violence of mourning, and the violence of history. The essays in the second section explore an equally urgent question: What does it mean to be human? Several argue that notions of the human must acknowledge the centrality of the body--the fact that we share a "blind corporeality" with the zombie. Others address how the human is closely aligned with language and time, the disappearance of which are represented by the aphasic, timeless zombie. Underlying each essay are the game-changing words of The Walking Dead's protagonist Rick Grimes to the other survivors: "We're all infected." The violence of the zombie is also our violence; their blind drives are also ours. The human characters of The Walking Dead may try to define themselves against the zombies but in the end their bodies harbor the zombie virus: they are the walking dead.
"This book explores numerous aspects of the zombie phenomenon, from its roots in Haitian folklore, to its evolution on the silver screen, to its most radical transformation during the 1960s countercultural revolution. Contributors examine the zombie and its relationship to colonialism, orientalism, racism, globalism, capitalism and more"--Provided by publisher.
They have stalked the horizons of our culture, wreaked havoc on moribund concepts of dead and not dead, threatened our sense of identity, and endangered our personal safety. Now zombies have emerged from the lurking shadows of society’s fringes to wander the sacred halls of the academy, feasting on tender minds and hurling rot across our intellectual landscape. It is time to unite in common cause, to shore up defenses, firm up critical and analytical resources, and fortify crumbling lines of inquiry. Responding to this call, Brain Workers from the Zombie Research Center poke and prod the rotting corpus of zombie culture trying to make sense of cult classics and the unstoppable growth of new and even more disturbing work. They exhume "zombie theory" and decaying historical documents from America, Europe, and the Caribbean in order to unearth the zombie world and arm readers with the brain tools necessary for everyday survival. Readers will see that zombie culture today "lives" in shapes as mutable as a zombie horde—and is often just as violent.