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‘The evil of our collective soul’: Zombies, medical capitalism and environmental apocalypse
Hughes, William
2021-03-01
Source PublicationHorror Studies
ISSN2040-3275
Volume12Issue:1Pages:7-25
Abstract

Though frequently comprehended as a vehicle for social satire or post-cultural speculation, zombie fictions also demonstrably mobilize the climatic unease of the current Anthropocene. Focusing in particular upon Max Brooks’s 2006 novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, this article considers the complex politics which have frequently underwritten a mythical origin for pandemics in the Othered East, and their contemporary reproduction in western concerns regarding unregulated surgery and the capitalism of human tissue. The article then proposes that the deterioration of human culture consequent upon the fictional zombie pandemic interrogates the contemporary understanding of inte-grated nationhood and problematizes the dichotomy structured between geograph-ically stable and refugee populations. The sudden eclipse of the competitive Anthropocene by a mindless Zombicene brings not renewal for a planet no longer supporting agriculture and industry but rather a hastening of perceived environmental collapse, where unregulated hunting and the uncontrolled burning of natural resources accelerate climatic deterioration, imperilling further the survival of residual humanity. As a type of apocalyptic fiction, the zombie narrative thus poses questions with regard to the persistence of conventional human behaviours, even in a post-capitalist environment, where the political concepts structuring nationhood have come to function as little more than a memory.

KeywordApocalyptic Fiction Climate Change Ecogothic Organ-harvesting Pandemic Zombies
DOI10.1386/host_00026_1
URLView the original
Indexed ByESCI
Language英語English
WOS Research AreaArts & Humanities - Other Topics
WOS SubjectHumanities, Multidisciplinary
WOS IDWOS:000631539600002
Scopus ID2-s2.0-85103540382
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Cited Times [WOS]:0   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document TypeJournal article
CollectionDEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH
Corresponding AuthorHughes, William
AffiliationDepartment of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Macau, Taipa Campus, Macao
First Author AffilicationFaculty of Arts and Humanities
Corresponding Author AffilicationFaculty of Arts and Humanities
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Hughes, William. ‘The evil of our collective soul’: Zombies, medical capitalism and environmental apocalypse[J]. Horror Studies,2021,12(1):7-25.
APA Hughes, William.(2021).‘The evil of our collective soul’: Zombies, medical capitalism and environmental apocalypse.Horror Studies,12(1),7-25.
MLA Hughes, William."‘The evil of our collective soul’: Zombies, medical capitalism and environmental apocalypse".Horror Studies 12.1(2021):7-25.
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