The Year's Work at the Zombie Research Center

By Edward P. Comentale; Aaron Jaffe | Go to book overview

Afterword: Zombie Archive

JEFFREY T. NEALON

The Year’s Work at the Zombie Research Center both constitutes its own unique archive and contributes to the growing archive of scholarly work on what might be the central figure that traverses our present, the zombie. When taking stock of this archive, or any archive for that matter, one is inevitably forced to ask the question, Why create a research archive around this topic rather than another? Why zombies, why now?

There are of course myriad—sometimes conflicting, always compelling—answers to that question on offer in this volume, and likewise within the wider scholarly zombie archive, but almost all answers to the “Why zombies now?” query lead to the conclusion that there’s substantial traffic between the figure of the zombie and the status of “normal” life today—that the zombie shows us something important about our current biopolitical, neoliberal, or existential situation.1 For example, no less an expert than Max Brooks, author of the Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, suggests that the current craze for zombies in American popular culture remains clearly and intensely tied to the ravages of the recent past: “9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, anthrax letters, DC sniper, global warming, global financial meltdown, bird flu, swine flu, SARS. I think people really feel like the system’s breaking down” (BrodesserAkner). Our collective lives, it seems, have become completely territorialized and inhabited by a kind of terrorist notion of imminent death. No longer understood as an externality to be controlled or an end to

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The Year's Work at the Zombie Research Center
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction- the Zombie Research Center FAQ 1
  • 1 - Zombie Psychology 59
  • 2 - Zombie Demographics 89
  • 3 - Zombie Spaces 116
  • 4 - Zombie Media 150
  • 5 - Zombie Health Care 193
  • 6 - Zombie Physiology 227
  • 7 - Zombie Performance 248
  • 8 - Zombie Race 276
  • 9 - Zombie Politics 315
  • 10 - Zombie Postfeminism 341
  • 11 - Zombie Linguistics 361
  • 12 - Zombie Arts and Letters 389
  • 13 - Zombie Philosophy 416
  • 14 - Zombie Cocktails 437
  • Afterword- Zombie Archive 465
  • Works Cited 475
  • Contributors 507
  • Index 511
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