Zombifying a Nation

Race, Gender and the Haitian Loas on Screen


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About the Book

The figure of the zombie that entered the popular imagination with the publication of William Seabrook’s The Magic Island (1929)—during the American occupation of Haiti—still holds cultural currency around the world. This book calls for a rethinking of zombies in a sociopolitical context through the examination of several films, including White Zombie (1932), The Love Wanga (1935), I Walked with a Zombie (1943) and The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988). A 21st-century film from Haiti, Zombi candidat à la présidence … ou les amours d’un zombi, is also examined. A reading of Heading South (2005), a film about the female tourist industry in the Caribbean, explores zombification as a consumptive process driven by capitalism.

About the Author(s)

Toni Pressley-Sanon is an assistant professor at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Toni Pressley-Sanon

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9424-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2584-3
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Zombie Studies

Table of Contents

A Note on Spelling 1
Preface: Zombis/Zombies and Me 3
Introduction: Of History, Neocolonialism, Vodou/Voodoo and the Zombi/Zombie 7
One. White Zombie and I Walked with a Zombie: The Haitian Revolution and White Southern Fears 25
Two. The Love Wanga: The American Occupation and Miscegenation 64
Three. Heading South and Zombification or “Haiti is open for business” 89
Four. The Serpent and the Rainbow and the 1986 Revolution 119
Five. Zombi candidat à la présidence … ou les amours d’un zombi and the Resurgence of La politique de doublure 141
Conclusion: Tasting Salt 162
Chapter Notes 167
Works Cited 179
Index 187

Book Reviews & Awards

“The sociocultural and historical framework Pressley-Sanon structures her text on is one of the book’s many attractions, making it equally fascinating across disciplines…remarkable”—H-Net Reviews.