Dead, White and Blue

The Zombie and American National Identity


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SKU: 9781476684932 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

Science fiction and horror television shows predict how the world might be different if zombies were real, or if artificial intelligence could develop consciousness. Pop culture critics reveal that these not-quite humans are often proxies for race, and the post-apocalyptic landscapes set the stage for reimagining social and political institutions. This book advances horror scholarship by placing those stories within a long tradition of mythologizing U.S. history. It demonstrates how Disney’s Zombies reenacts the civil rights movement, how The Walking Dead fulfills Thoreau’s fantasy against the backdrop of founding a new nation, and how Westworld permits visitors to experience the Old West while bearing witness to Indian Removal. Each of these narratives imagines a future that retells the past. The chapters within look at that tradition in order to understand the present.

About the Author(s)

Aaron W Clayton is a professor of English at Frederick Community College in Frederick, Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

Aaron W Clayton

Series Editor Kyle William Bishop

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 207
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8493-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5027-2
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Zombie Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi
Preface  1
Introduction  7
Chapter One
Myths of Colonial America  19
Chapter Two
Lakota Ghost Dance and the Imaginary Frontier  35
Chapter Three
Caribbean and Gothic Origins of the American Zombie  57
Chapter Four
Social Critique and the Modern Zombie  85
Chapter Five
Civil Rights Movement Retold in Disney Zombies  114
Chapter Six
Destiny Manifested in Westworld’s Philosophical Zombies  132
Conclusion  161
Chapter Notes  165
Bibliography  183
Index  195

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Clayton has provocatively situated a fresh range of zombie and zombie-adjacent texts in long-standing nationalist discourses within the American psyche. The analysis demonstrates the long reach of the zombie mythos in ideological roots of repression and resistance, unpacked with insight and wit.”—Peter Dendle, author of The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia