This collection addresses the significant cultural phenomenon of the 'zombie renaissance' – the growing importance of zombie texts and zombie cultural practices in popular culture. The chapters examine zombie culture across a range of media and practices including films games, music, social media, literature and fandom.
Since the early 2000s, popular culture has experienced a "Zombie Renaissance," beginning in film and expanding into books, television, video games, theatre productions, phone apps, collectibles and toys. Zombies have become allegorical figures embodying cultural anxieties, but they also serve as models for concepts in economics, political theory, neuroscience, psychology, computer science and astronomy. They are powerful, multifarious metaphors representing fears of contagion and doom but also isolation and abandonment, as well as troubling aspects of human cruelty, public spectacle and abusive relationships. This critical examination of the 21st-century zombie phenomenon explores how and why the public imagination has been overrun by the undead horde.
What happens to us when we die? The book seeks to explore how that question has been answered in American popular culture. It begins with five framing essays that provide historical and intellectual background on ideas about the afterlife in Western culture. These essays are followed by over 100 entries, each focusing on specific cultural products or authors that feature the afterlife front and center. Entries topics include novels, film, television shows, plays, works of nonfiction, graphic novels, and more, all of which address some aspect of what may await us after our passing. This book is unique in marrying a historical overview of the afterlife with detailed analyses of particular cultural products, such as films and novels. In addition, it covers these topics in nonspecialist language, written with a high school and college audience in mind. The book provides historical context for contemporary depictions of the afterlife addressed in the entries, which deal specifically with work produced in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Portrayals of death and the dead are everywhere within popular culture revealing much about contemporary society’s engagement with mortality. Drawing upon celebrity posthumous careers, organ transplantation mythology and the fictional dead, this book considers how representations of the dead in popular culture exert powerful agency.
Death, Culture and Leisure: Playing Dead is an inter- and multi-disciplinary volume that engages with the diverse nexuses that exist between death, culture and leisure. At its heart, it is a playful exploration of the way in which we play with both death and the dead.
A fascinating read for anyone from general readers to hardcore fans and scholars, this encyclopedia covers virtually every aspect of the zombie as cultural phenomenon, including film, literature, folklore, music, video games, and events. The proliferation of zombie-related fiction, film, games, events, and other media in the last decade would seem to indicate that zombies are "the new vampires" in popular culture. The editors and contributors of Encyclopedia of the Zombie: The Walking Dead in Popular Culture and Myth took on the prodigious task of covering all aspects of the phenomenon, from the less-known historical and cultural origins of the zombie myth to the significant works of film and literature as well as video games in the modern day that feature the insatiable, relentless zombie character. The encyclopedia examines a wide range of significant topics pertaining to zombies, such as zombies in the pulp magazines; the creation of the figure of the zuvembie to subvert decades of censorship by the Comics Code of Authority; Humans vs. Zombies, a popular zombie-themed game played on college campuses across the country; and annual Halloween zombie walks. Organized alphabetically to facilitate use of the encyclopedia as a research tool, it also includes entries on important scholarly works in the expanding field of zombie studies. • Provides comprehensive coverage of topics about or relating to zombies in film, literature, folklore, and popular culture • Features work from contributors who are dedicated scholars, authors, or fans in the zombie genre of work • Supplies dates with all names and works to give readers a sense of the historical context and evolution of zombie lore • Includes concept entries—for example, comedy, free will, and weapons—that place works in a logical, thematic context
This book is an innovative work that takes a fresh approach to the concept of race as a social factor made concrete in popular forms, such as film, television, and music. The essays push past the reaffirmation of static conceptions of identity, authenticity, or conventional interpretations of stereotypes and bridge the intertextual gap between theories of community enactment and cultural representation.
With intense and violent portrayals of death becoming ever more common on television and in cinema and the growth of death-centric movies, series, texts, songs, and video clips attracting a wide and enthusiastic global reception, we might well ask whether death has ceased to be a taboo. What makes thanatic themes so desirable in popular culture? Do representations of the macabre and gore perpetuate or sublimate violent desires? Has contemporary popular culture removed our unease with death? Can social media help us cope with our mortality, or can music and art present death as an aesthetic phenomenon? This volume adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the discussion of the social, cultural, aesthetic, and theoretical aspects of the ways in which popular culture understands, represents, and manages death, bringing together contributions from around the world focused on television, cinema, popular literature, social media and the internet, art, music, and advertising.
This book demonstrates how popular culture can be successfully incorporated into medical and health science curriculums, capitalising on the opportunity fictional media presents to humanise case studies. Studies show that the vast majority of medical and nursing students watch popular medical television dramas and comedies such as Grey’s Anatomy, ER, House M.D. and Scrubs. This affords us with a unique opportunity to engage and inform not only students but the general public and patients further downstream. This volume analyses examples of medical-themed popular culture and offers various strategies and methods for educators in this field to integrate this material into their teaching. The result is a fascinating read and original resource for medical professionals and teachers alike.