Post-Apocalyptic Patriarchy

American Television and Gendered Visions of Survival


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About the Book

Twenty-first century American television series such as Revolution, Falling Skies, The Last Ship and The Walking Dead have depicted a variety of doomsday scenarios—nuclear cataclysm, rogue artificial intelligence, pandemic, alien invasion or zombie uprising. These scenarios speak to longstanding societal anxieties and contemporary calamities like 9/11 or the avian flu epidemic. Questions about post-apocalyptic television abound: whose voices are represented? What tomorrows are they most afraid of? What does this tell us about the world we live in today? The author analyzes these speculative futures in terms of gender, race and sexuality, revealing the fears and ambitions of a patriarchy in flux, as exemplified by the “return” to a mythical American frontier where the white male hero fights for survival, protects his family and crafts a new world order based on the old.

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About the Author(s)

Carlen Lavigne, Ph.D. (communications studies), teaches at Red Deer College in Alberta, Canada, and has published works on genre fiction, gender, queer studies and television.

Bibliographic Details

Carlen Lavigne
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 194
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9906-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3445-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface 1
Introduction 5

1. Nuclear Attack or Nanite Apocalypse? The New Wild West 9
Jericho 12
Revolution 20
Conclusion 33

2. Pandemics, Plagues and Contagion 36
Jeremiah 37
The Last Ship 48
Conclusion 57

3. The Alien Other 59
Falling Skies 60
Colony 71
Defiance 77
Conclusion 88

4. The Zombie Renaissance 90
The Walking Dead 92
Fear the Walking Dead 109
Z Nation 114
Conclusion 121

5. Parody and the ­Post-Apocalypse 123
The Last Man on Earth 124
Conclusion 130

6. After the Fall—The ­Post-Post-Apocalypse 132
Into the Badlands 133
The 100 141
Wayward Pines 152
Conclusion 158

Contexts and Conclusions 160
Chapter Notes 171
Works Cited 175
Index 183

Book Reviews & Awards

“Meticulous work done to clarify characters, relationships, and events in the shows… The book’s clarity reinforces its usefulness—scholars examining a particular show will be able to navigate the subsections almost instantly…recommended”—Science Fiction Studies