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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than the Gothic tradition from which monsters like vampires and werewolves have emerged, zombies have in many ways superseded these Gothic monsters in popular entertainment and the public imagination and have increasingly been used in discussions ranging from the philosophy of mind to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.
"This book provides a cultural and critical analysis of the cinematic zombie tradition. Closely examining influential works 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 Zombies in Gothic tradition"--Provided by publisher.
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.
Tropical Gothic examines Gothic within a specific geographical area of ‘the South’ of the Americas. In so doing, we structure the book around geographical coordinates (from North to South) and move between various national traditions of the gothic (Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, etc) alongside regional manifestations of the Gothic (the US south and the Caribbean) as well as transnational movements of the Gothic within the Americas. The reflections on national traditions of the Gothic in this volume add to the critical body of literature on specific languages or particular nations, such as Scottish Gothic, American Gothic, Canadian Gothic, German Gothic, Kiwi Gothic, etc. This is significant because, while the Southern Gothic in the US has been thoroughly explored, there is a gap in the critical literature about the Gothic in the larger context of region of ‘the South’ in the Americas. This volume does not pretend to be a comprehensive examination of tropical Gothic in the Americas; rather, it pinpoints a variety of locations where this form of the Gothic emerges. In so doing, the transnational interventions of the Gothic in this book read the flows of Gothic forms across borders and geographical regions to tease out the complexities of Gothic cultural production within cultural and linguistic translations. Tropical Gothic includes, but is by no means limited to, a reflection on a region where European colonial powers fought intensively against indigenous populations and against each other for control of land and resources. In other cases, the vast populations of African slaves were transported, endowing these regions with a cultural inheritance that all the nations involved are still trying to comprehend. The volume reflects on how these histories influence the Gothic in this region.
"Mesmerists, Monsters, and Machines interrogates the cultural implications of scientific development as articulated, challenged, and reformulated by science fiction. Each chapter demonstrates that both science and fiction were vital parts of a culture of imaginative and empirical practices that were continually reacting to, arguing with, and influencing one another throughout the nineteenth century. In a narrative that cites classic science fiction texts, Willis establishes a timeline for the reader so that the cultural significance of science fiction is understood and its complexity and relevance to the nineteenth century is demonstrated." "Those interested in nineteenth-century history and literature, cultural studies, the history of science, and science fiction will welcome this addition to the scholarship."--BOOK JACKET.
George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential horror films of all time. Shot on a low budget on black and white film, Night depicts an America under siege from reanimated corpses. The action centres around a motley group of survivors holed up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, besieged by flesh-eating ghouls. Romero’s focus on tensions between members of this makeshift community resonates with contemporary racial and gender conflicts and, in addition to its shockingly visceral content, the film’s impact lay in its engagement with contemporary social upheaval – Vietnam and the peace movement, the civil rights struggle, assassinations and escalating urban tensions. Benjamin Hervey’s study of the film is the first to provide a close analysis of the film and an in-depth account of its reception. Drawing on original archival research, Hervey traces how the film quickly gained cult status, while at the same time it was hailed as a piece of art cinema and as a deep political allegory. Hervey analyses the film scene-by-scene, detailing how the scoring, editing, photography and lighting came together to overall powerful effect. He provides a richly detailed historical context for his reading of the film, showing, for example, how scenes in Night directly relate to contemporary news coverage of Vietnam.
This collection of new essays by an international group of media scholars argues that HBO, as part of the leading edge of television, is at the center of television studies' interests in market positioning, style, content, technology, and political economy. The contributors focus on pioneering areas of analysis and new critical approaches in television studies today, highlighting unique aspects of the "HBO effect" to explore new perspectives on contemporary television from radical changes in technology to dramatic shifts in viewing habits. It's Not TV provides fresh insights into the "post-television network" by examining HBO's phenomenally popular and pioneering shows, including The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Sex and the City as well as its failed series, such as K Street and The Comeback. The contributors also explore the production process itself and the creation of a brand commodity, along with HBO's place as a market leader and technological innovator.

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