Being human in a world of zombies (in The Walking Dead)
in Fictional television and American Politics
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This chapter uses the vehicle of American Movie Channel's The Walking Dead to explore one of the most fundamental questions we can ask as a species: what does it mean to be human? It begins by outlining the history and rise of the zombie genre. Then, the chapter explores how this relatively popular-culture penchant relates to IR and US world politics. Next, it analyses the discursive intervention of The Walking Dead, connecting the show's storylines with contemporary developments in American politics as well as more timeless issues of political theory. To do so, the chapter considers, further, the role of violence in understandings of humanity and human-ness and what it is that is at stake in struggles to contest these definitions. The Walking Dead makes a discursive intervention that highlights humanity's more problematic behaviours, nudging us to reconsider how we might act in the present.

Fictional television and American Politics

From 9/11 to Donald Trump


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