From White Zombie to World War Z
in Globalgothic
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In American films of the 1930s and 1940s, King of the Zombies, and I Walked with a Zombie, gothic themes are played out in a racialised context. Here, a displaced South, the Caribbean, provides the setting for a sexualised encounter with an otherness exuding colonial anxieties and demanding to be suppressed. On the surface White Zombie presents a tale of amorous delusion and possession equating race and sexuality as forms of otherness to be mastered through diabolical possession or be reclaimed by love, rationality or religion. In White Zombie primitivism and superstition are set against civilisation and reason. Max Brooks's World War Z was written as supplement to a UN report documenting human testimonies on the suffering, devastation and rebuilding of the zombie war. It charts the emergence and overcoming of global swarms of living dead.

Editor: Glennis Byron


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