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Theorising the Contemporary Zombie

Contextual Pasts, Presents, and Futures

An exploration of what the widespread contemporary interest in stories of zombies can tell us.
Contemporary culture is undergoing a zombie invasion, with the undead present in books, movies, TV shows, and more. Contributors tease out a horde of cultural resonance through a range of international media, including the South Korean horror film Train to Busan, English-language young adult novel The Boy on the Bridge, and the 1980s Italian Gates of Hell trilogy. This book offers a series of thought-provoking examinations of the meanings and metaphors of zombies in three distinct fields: gender and sexuality, the environment, and media.

256 pages | 4 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Horror Studies

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

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"Theorising the Contemporary Zombie represents a valuable contribution to the growing literature of zombie studies. This innovative collection transcends the often myopic focus of similar scholarly anthologies by demonstrating how valuable the zombie metaphor is for a variety of disciplines and intertexts, not to mention contemporary society as a whole. These essays are a must-read for fans and scholars of the zombie figure alike."

Dr. Kyle William Bishop, Professor of English, Southern Utah University

Table of Contents

Abstract i
Author Biographies ii
List of Figures iv

Introduction 1
Scott Hamilton and Conor Heffernan

I. Zombified Bodies

1. Zombies, Deviance, and the Right to Posthuman Life
Poppy Wilde (Birmingham City University) 20

2. The Apocalypse Workout: Health, Identity and Zombies
Conor Heffernan (University of Texas at Austin) 44

3. Zombie Orgies and the Fear of the Outer Limits: Examining the Relationship between Fear, Pornography and Zombies
Caroline West (Dublin City University) 68

4. Aloha-oe: Hello, Goodbye to Love and Family in Sang-ho Yeon’s Train to Busan
Harvey O’Brien (University College Dublin) 94

II. Critical Environments

5. The Stalking Dead: Ireland’s Ambiguous Revenants and the Case for a Folk-Zombie Revival
Jack Fennell (University of Limerick) 115

6. M.R. Carey’s The Boy on the Bridge: Ethics and the Apocalypse
Scott Eric Hamilton (University College Dublin) 134
7. Zombie Colony: The Heteronomy of the Greek State & The Datura of Cultural Capital
Konstantinos Kerasovitis (University of Wolverhampton) 159

8. Last Ones Left Alive: Zombies and Post-Politics
Deirdre Flynn (University College Dublin) 185

III. Undead Cultures

9. Beware the Zuvembies: Comics, Censorship, and the Ubiquity of Not-Quite-Zombies
Chera Kee (Wayne State University) 207

10. Distortions of the Video Dead: The Degradation of Reality in the Era of Zombie VHS
Peter Wright (The University of Sydney) 231

11. ‘Violence is Italian art’: Art and Adaptation in Lucio Fulci’s ‘Gates of Hell’ Trilogy
Miranda Corcoran (University College Cork) 250

12. Surviving the Shambling Signifieds: Zombies, Language, and Chaos
Andrew Ferguson (University of Maryland) 273

Bibliography 295

Index 330

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