Abstract

In this essay, I focus my attention on the survivors of the zombie apocalypse, rather than the sociocultural implications of the zombies themselves. It is the life-and-death choices of the survivors and what these characters specifically choose to cull from their recent pasts in the rebuilding of a new post-apocalyptic civilization that I find most interesting. What worlds are constructed after the initial attack that brings on the zombie apocalypse? What power dynamics continue? Does Western hegemony continue? I choose to stay within the sphere of contemporary zombie horror because I believe it remains pregnant with opportunities to explore modern race and gender relations, for Kim Paffenroth insists that zombie movies are deeply psychological dramas, that “the real enemy is the group, with the fear and ignorance that tears them apart and sets them against one another.” Finally, this particular piece focuses on the intricacies of the construction of black female survivors within contemporary zombie texts, reading their experiences within the context of black feminist theory. I begin with a retracing of the critical work that has been done on gender and race within the genre of horror itself, later focusing on the subgenre of zombie horror texts.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-6182
Print ISSN
1062-4783
Pages
pp. 461-475
Launched on MUSE
2015-03-30
Open Access
No
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