Space and place in zombie culture: how fictional film inspires, dissent, celebration and the Carnivalesque in social spaces

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

As arguably the most popular modern horror icon, it is fruitful to consider the fictional Zombie following Robert Kastenbaum’s discussion of Arnold Van Gennep’s concept of liminality. In the case of the Zombie, as both dead yet alive, we can see the most obvious fictional example of a body as liminal, removed from society yet returning, removed from life, yet still functioning. The Zombie can move between areas of social interaction, and also functions within its own space, one which cannot be categorised as easily as either-or, alive or dead. This serves to question the social borders that living bodies function within.
This refusal of borders and categories is also presented within the physical presence of the Zombie breaking socially constructed areas designated for the living and the dead, notably within film and media, but also now in the popular phenomena of Zombie Walks. Following Walter Kendrick, we have separated ourselves from death physically, but: “Even as we deny that our flesh must decay, however, we surround ourselves with fictional images of the very fate we strive to hear nothing about”. This paper will examine the importance of space and conflict in Zombie film post- 1968, and how this has been translated into social gatherings that at once celebrate the Zombie and undermine the notion of controlled social spaces of behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventZombosium - University of Winchester, Winchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Oct 2011 → …

Conference

ConferenceZombosium
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityWinchester
Period28/10/11 → …

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