Romancing the Zombie

Essays on the Undead as Significant “Other”


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About the Book

The zombie—popular culture’s undead darling—shows no signs of stopping. But as it develops to suit changing audience tastes, its characteristics transform. This collection of new essays examines the latest incarnation, the romantic zombie, a re-humanized monster we want to help, heal and connect with rather than destroy. The authors discuss our increasingly sympathetic view of the reanimated dead as more than physical bodies devoid of life and personality. Their essays cover a range of topics, including audience obsession with Apocalyptic love; the problem of a kinder, gentler undead; the millennial reinvention of the “sexy zombie”; and “uncanny valley romance.”

About the Author(s)

Ashley Szanter is an adjunct instructor of English at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Her research focuses on monsters, monstrosity, popular culture, and media studies.

Jessica K. Richards is an adjunct instructor at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. She specializes in cultural and television studies.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Ashley Szanter and Jessica K. Richards

Foreword by Kyle William Bishop

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6742-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3067-0
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Zombie Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Foreword by Kyle William Bishop 1
Introduction: Kissing Corpses and Significant “Others”: Facing Our Obsession with Apocalyptic Love (Ashley Szanter and Jessica K. Richards) 5

From Slavery to Sex: Commodifying Romance in the Zombie Film (Jennifer Huss Basquiat) 17
Nobody Wants to Be ­Un-Anything: Pushing Daisies and the Problem of a Kinder, Gentler Undead (Scott Rogers) 32
The Idea of Love and the Reality of Deadgirl (Whitney Cox and Ashley Ruth Lierman) 42
La Petite Mort: Death and Desire in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Amy Carol Reeves) 58
Love and Marriage in the Time of The Walking Dead (Amanda Taylor) 72
Memories of You: The Undying Love of the Zombie in Harold’s Going Stiff (Simon Bacon) 89
The Sexy Millennial Reinvention of the Undead in Warm Bodies and iZombie (Ashley Szanter and Jessica K. Richards) 100
“This place. It’s never going to accept people like us. Never ever”: (Queer) Horror, Hatred and Heteronormativity in In the Flesh (Connor Jackson) 118
Uncanny Valley Romance: Warm Bodies, Her and the Bits and Bytes of Affection (Paul Muhlhauser and Jack D. Arnal) 136
Zombies Want Serious Commitment: The Dread of Liquid Modernity in Life After Beth, Burying the Ex and Nina Forever (Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns, Canela Ailen Rodriguez Fontao and Patricia Vazquez) 153
Braaaiiinnnsss: The Recipe for Love in iZombie (Jennifer Rachel Dutch) 168
The Zombie Apocalypse as Hospice Care: Maggie and the Zombie Turn as Cipher for Terminal Illness (William A. Lindenmuth) 185
Disaster Utopia and Survival Euphoria: (A)Sexuality in the Zombie (Post)Apocalypse (George J. Sieg) 201

About the Contributors 217
Index 221