Race, Oppression and the Zombie

Essays on Cross-Cultural Appropriations of the Caribbean Tradition

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About the Book

The figure of the zombie is a familiar one in world culture, acting as a metaphor for “the other,” a participant in narratives of life and death, good and evil, and of a fate worse than death—the state of being “undead.” This book explores the phenomenon from its roots in Haitian folklore to its evolution on the silver screen and to its radical transformation during the 1960s countercultural revolution. Contributors from a broad range of disciplines here examine the zombie and its relationship to colonialism, orientalism, racism, globalism, capitalism and more—including potential signs that the zombie hordes may have finally achieved oversaturation. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Christopher M. Moreman is professor and chair of the department of philosophy and religious studies at California State University, East Bay. He has published widely on topics relating to death, dying, and popular culture.

Cory James Rushton is an associate English professor at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Christopher M. Moreman and Cory James Rushton

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, filmography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5911-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8800-1
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Zombie Studies

Table of Contents

Introduction: Race, Colonialism, and the Evolution of the “Zombie”
CORY JAMES RUSHTON and CHRISTOPHER M. MOREMAN      1

I—Haitian Origins: Race and the Zombie
1. New South, New Immigrants, New Women, New Zombies: The Historical Development of the Zombie in American Popular Culture
ANN KORDAS      15
2. Hurston in Haiti: Neocolonialism and Zombification
RITA KERESZTESI      31
3. Putting the Undead to Work: Wade Davis, Haitian Vodou, and the Social Uses of the Zombie
DAVID INGLIS      42
4. Guess Who’s Going to Be Dinner: Sidney Poitier, Black Militancy, and the Ambivalence of Race in Romero’s Night of the Living Dead
BARBARA S. BRUCE      60

II—The Capital of the Dead
5. Time for Zombies: Sacrifice and the Structural Phenomenology of Capitalist Futures
RONJON PAUL DATTA and LAURA MACDONALD      77
6. Zombified Capital in the Postcolonial Capital: Circulation (of Blood) in Sony Labou Tansi’s Parentheses of Blood
ELIZABETH A. STINSON      93

III—Culturally Transplanted Zombies
7. Zombie Orientals Ate My Brain! Orientalism in Contemporary Zombie Stories
ERIC HAMAKO      107
8. Post–9/11 Anxieties: Unpredictability and Complacency in the Age of New Terrorism in Dawn of the Dead (2004)
BECKI A. GRAHAM      124
9. The Rise and Fall—and Rise—of the Nazi Zombie in Film
CYNTHIA J. MILLER      139
10. Eating Ireland: Zombies, Snakes and Missionaries in Boy Eats Girl
CORY JAMES RUSHTON      149
11. It’s So Hard to Get Good Help These Days: Zombies as a Culturally Stabilizing Force in Fido (2006)
MICHELE BRAUN      162

IV—The Future of Zombie Understandings
12. Zombie Categories, Religion and the New False Rationalism
EDWARD DUTTON      177
13. Nothing but Meat? Philosophical Zombies and Their Cinematic Counterparts
DAVE BEISECKER      191

Bibliography      207
Filmography      219
About the Contributors      223
Index      225