The Walking Dead Live!: Essays on the Television Show

The Walking Dead Live!: Essays on the Television Show


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In 2010, The Walking Dead premiered on AMC and has since become the most watched scripted program in the history of basic cable. Based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead provides a stark, metaphoric preview of what the end of civilization might look like: the collapse of infrastructure and central government, savage tribal anarchy, and purposeless hordes of the wandering wounded. While the representation of zombies has been a staple of the horror genre for more than half a century, the unprecedented popularity of The Walking Dead reflects an increased identification with uncertain times.

In The Walking Dead Live! Essays on the Television Show, Philip L. Simpson and Marcus Mallard have compiled essays that examine the show as a cultural text. Contributors to this volume consider how the show engages with our own social practices—from theology and leadership to gender, race, and politics—as well as how the show reflects matters of masculinity, memory, and survivor’s guilt.

As a product of anxious times, The Walking Dead gives the audience an idea of what the future may hold and what popular interest in the zombie genre means. Providing insight into the broader significance of the zombie apocalypse story, The Walking Dead Live! will be of interest to scholars of sociology, cultural history, and television, as well as to fans of the show.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442271203
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 07/15/2016
Pages: 228
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Philip L. Simpson serves as provost of the Titusville Campus of Eastern Florida State College. He is the author of Psycho Paths: Tracking the Serial Killer through Contemporary American Film and Fiction (2000) and Making Murder: The Fiction of Thomas Harris (2010) and coeditor of Stephen King’s Contemporary Classics: Reflections on the Modern Master of Horror (2015). He has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on film, literature, popular culture, and horror.

Marcus Mallard teaches composition at the University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma City Community College.

Table of Contents

Introduction Philip L. Simpson Marcus Mallard ix

I "We Are The Walking Dead": Cross-Composition 1

1 "Zombies 'R' Us": Twenty-first Century America and Historical Inquiry Brad L. Duren 3

2 Zombies are Real?: Adapting Bazin Marcus Mallard 19

3 "The Devil You Say!": Zombies, Dante, and Theology Dustin M. Sells 37

4 Take Me to Your Leader: Rick Versus Shane and the Problematic Representation of Leadership Mary Findley 55

5 Peering through the Blinds: Gothic Gaze in Fear the Walking Dead Heide Crawford 81

II "We Had to Stop Being Out There": Decomposition and Recomposition 89

6 Surviving Time: Zombie Narrative and Chronology Ben Smith 91

7 Confronting Trauma in the Zombie Apocalypse: Witnessing, Survivor Guilt, and Postmemory Michelle Kramisen 109

8 There's a New Sheriff in Town: Hegemonic Masculinity in the Zombie Apocalypse Abby Graves 131

9 Rick Grimes, Eastman, and White Power: Resisting the Suture from a Critical Fan Perspective Jennifer A. Beech Matthew Guy 155

10 Sects and Violence: The Allegory of Sectarian Conflict in AMC's Zombie Apocalypse Philip L. Simpson 165

Bibliography 189

Index 195

About the Editors and Contributors 205

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