Zombies and Sexuality

Essays on Desire and the Living Dead


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About the Book

Since the early 2000s, zombies have increasingly swarmed the landscape of popular culture, with ever more diverse representations of the undead being imagined. A growing number of zombie narratives have introduced sexual themes, endowing the living dead with their own sexual identity. The unpleasant idea of the sexual zombie is itself provocative, triggering questions about the nature of desire, sex, sexuality, and the politics of our sexual behaviors. However, the notion of zombie sex has been largely unaddressed in scholarship.

This collection addresses that unexamined aspect of zombiedom, with essays engaging a variety of media texts, including graphic novels, films, television, pornography, literature, and internet meme culture. The essayists are scholars from a variety of disciplines, including history, theology, film studies, and gender and queer studies. Covering The Walking Dead, Warm Bodies, and Bruce LaBruce’s zombie-porn movies, this work investigates the cultural, political and philosophical issues raised by undead sex and zombie sexuality.

About the Author(s)

Shaka McGlotten is associate professor of media, society, and the arts at Purchase College–SUNY, where he researches and teaches on ethnography, digital media, and queer studies.

Steve Jones is senior lecturer in media at Northumbria University (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England). His research is principally focused on representations of sex and violence, the philosophy of self, gender politics, and ethics.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Shaka McGlotten and Steve Jones
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7907-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1738-1
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Zombie Studies

Table of Contents

Introduction: Zombie Sex (Steve Jones and Shaka McGlotten)  1
Take, Eat, These Are My Brains: Queer Zombie Jesus (Max Thornton)  19
Victorian Values: Necrophilia and the Nineteenth Century in Zombie Films (Marcus Harmes)  36
A Love Worth ­Un-Undying For: Neoliberalism and Queered Sexuality in Warm Bodies (Sasha Cocarla)  52
For a Good Time Just Scream: Sex Work and Plastic Sexuality in “Dystopicmodern Literature” (Denise N. Cook)  73
Laid to Rest: Romance, End of the World Sexuality and Apocalyptic Anticipation in Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead (Emma Vossen)  88
Queering and Cripping the End of the World: Disability, Sexuality and Race in The Walking Dead (Cathy Hannabach)  106
Re-Animating the Social Order: Zombies and Queer Failure (Trevor Grizzell)  123
Gay Zombies: Consuming Masculinity and Community in Bruce LaBruce’s Otto; or, Up with Dead People and L.A. Zombie (Darren ­Elliott-Smith)  140
“I Eat Brains … or Dick”: Sexual Subjectivity and the Hierarchy of the Undead in Hardcore Film (Laura Helen Marks)  159
Pretty, Dead: Sociosexuality, Rationality and the Transition into ­Zom-Being (Steve Jones)  180
Bibliography  199
About the Contributors  213
Index  215

Book Reviews & Awards

“Excellent addition to the shelves or tablets of any horror scholar”—Dead Reckonings

“Pick up the book…a very academic read that isn’t light and isn’t casual, but just might get you thinking”—Geek-O-Rama