Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Stephen Graham Jones
Observing the current popularity of the zombie narrative in American culture, this thesis explores the questions “why zombie?” and “why now?” through a combination of research and the creation of an original zombie story. Moving beyond existing criticism which argues that the zombie transforms to fit each generation’s specific fears, I argue that zombie movies, novels, and video games from George A. Romero-onwards continually speak to a distrust of science and scientific progress while additionally romanticizing the post-apocalyptic landscape. Consequently, the zombie’s unprecedented mainstream popularity over the last fifteen years could be read as symptomatic of this distrust intensifying, paralleling an increasing politicization of science and a rise in apocalyptic thinking within the public sphere. Through the deconstruction of my own zombie story, I uncover not only what these timely narratives tell us about our perceptions of the future, but also how they can help us change them.
Long, Samantha Jo, "Bring an Axe and Your Wildest Dreams: Post-Apocalyptic Desires, Science Distrust, and the De(con)struction of a Zombie Story" (2014). English Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 62.