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Thinking Dead


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Table of Contents

Table of Contents Introduction - Thinking Dead: Our obsession with the Undead and Its Implications Murali Balaji, Ph.D Part I: Zombies as the Other and Ourselves Chapter 1: Perfect Strangers: The Zombie Imaginary and the Logic of Representation Gordon Coonfield, Ph.D Chapter 2: The Social Dead: How Our Zombie Baggage Threatens to Drag Us into the Crypts of Our Past Angela Cirucci Chapter 3: "Fight the Dead, Fear The Living": Zombie Apocalypse or Libertarian Paradise? Jennifer M. Proffitt, Ph.D Rich Templin, Ph.D Chapter 4: Simulating Zombies in Popular Culture and Media Patrick Hamilton, Ph.D Part II: The Zombie Apocalypse and Social, Technological and Psychological Space Chapter 5: Return to Darkness: Representations of Africa in Resident Evil 5 Hanli Geyser Chapter 6: Same as it ever was: Savior Narratives and the Logics of Survival in The Walking Dead Martina Baldwin Mark McCarthy Chapter 7: The Zombie Monster's Evolution to Empty Undead Signifier Ryan Lizardi, Ph.D Chapter 8: Gothic Monster and Chinese Cultural Identity: Analysis of The Note of Ghoul Meijiadai Bai Chapter 9: Zombies and the Modern American Family: Surviving the Destruction of Traditional Society in Zombieland Cassie Ozog Chapter 10: Leave it all Behind: The post-Apocalyptical Renunciation of Technology in the Walking Dead Alicia Kozma Chapter 11: Space Junk and the Second Event: The Cosmic Meaning of the Zombie Apocalypse Barry Vacker, Ph.D Part III: Eating the Undead: Consumption and Cultural Industries Chapter 12: The Necropolitics of the Apocalypse: Queer Zombies in the Cinema of Bruce LaBruce Arnau Roig Chapter 13: XXXombies: Economies of Desire and Disgust Steve Jones, Ph.D Chapter 14: Teen Movies and Summit Entertainment's Construction of Warm Bodies Cate Buckley Chapter 15: Eating the Dead: AMC's use of Synergy to Cultivate Zombie Consumption Murali Balaji, Ph.D

About the Author

Murali Balaji is assistant professor of media studies and production at Temple University.


This eclectic mix of essays considers how the trope of the zombie apocalypse holds the key to understanding humans' constant struggle to form a stable identity in a changeable universe. The essays analyze media productions as varied as the YA romzomcom Warm Bodies, the video game Resident Evil 5, the Chinese film The Note of Ghoul, and the queer, hardcore zombie pornography of Bruce LaBruce. But the volume's most thought-provoking offerings treat the television series The Walking Dead. For example, Angela Cirucci ('The Social Dead') observes that both the figure of the zombie as popularized in The Walking Dead and figures in old photos posted on social media such as Facebook are disturbing reminders of 'former lives' with the potential to threaten the stability of present identities, and Alicia Kozna ('Leaving It All Behind') considers the trend, in apocalyptic narratives, that calls for renunciation of technology as a precondition of re-creating society in a way that values human connection. Most enlightening is Balaji's essay ('Eating the Dead'), which examines the subordination of Tony Kirkman's graphic novel (on which the television series is based) to the series itself and to show-related merchandise. An important contribution the mushrooming field of zombie studies. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. * CHOICE *
Thinking Dead is about brains, in both the zombie and scholarly sense. YA zombies, Chinese zombies, queer zombies, and porn zombies are effectively critiqued for their cultural meanings as are their more well-known shuffler siblings 28 Days Later, The Walking Dead, and Zombieland. Taking an eclectic media and cultural studies perspective, editor Balaji and his contributors persuasively and engagingly decompose zombies as ideological tales about race, gender, class, colonialism, consumption, social media, teen romance, and neoliberalism. -- Matthew P. McAllister, Pennsylvania State University

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