Happy Belated Halloween! Wanted to share these reflections on the shifting myths and meanings of zombies over time from my friend and colleague Jaime Hough at Purdue University. Boiler up and zombie down!
A few days ago The Atlantic published a great article by Mike Mariani on zombies. Mariani’s piece discusses the origins of the zombie on colonial sugar plantations and the cultural evolution between sign and signified which has befallen the zombie over the years. I highly recommend you take a look at the piece, which you can find here.*
I found one passage of Mariani’s article particularly fascinating.
For a brief period, the living dead served as a handy Rorschach test for America’s social ills. At various times, they represented capitalism, the Vietnam War, nuclear fear, even the tension surrounding the civil-rights movement. Today zombies are almost always linked with the end of the world via the “zombie apocalypse,” a global pandemic that turns most of the human population into beasts ravenous for the flesh of their own kind. But there’s no longer any clear metaphor. While America may still…
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