Title

Doctored, Strange Love: Or How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Zomb

Presenter Information

Cyphar Hopkins

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 271

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

My project explores the almost exponential rise in popularity of the zombie film genre over the past fifty years. As one probable cause, my presentation explores the connections between zombie films (as a type of apocalyptic film) and the pervasive nuclear holocaust anxiety which arose in the United States following the advent of atomic weapons and their subsequent use. Although the concept of the destruction of the world was nothing new considering the events/prophecies of the Bible, the level of destructive force which once remained securely in the realm of the divine was now available as part of the push-button age. Though seen by some as a savior when first used against the Japanese in World War II, America’s relationship with nuclear weapons (and later nuclear power as well) soon changed due to the Cold War with its massive over stockpiling of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and accidents at both Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Though no longer as actively feared, many scholars would argue that nuclear holocaust anxiety groomed the social consciousness for a general holocaust anxiety which enabled later panics about AIDS, Y2K, severe acute respiratory syndrome, swine/avian flu, and 9/11-related terrorist attacks. Once the anxiety was integrated into the general social consciousness it enabled zombie films to enter the mainstream as a safe, comfortable pressure-release valve where this anxiety could be displaced. I look at what makes the zombie film an idea vehicle for the transfer and amelioration of nuclear holocaust anxiety.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Liahna Armstrong

Additional Mentoring Department

English

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 16th, 1:50 PM May 16th, 2:10 PM

Doctored, Strange Love: Or How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Zomb

SURC 271

My project explores the almost exponential rise in popularity of the zombie film genre over the past fifty years. As one probable cause, my presentation explores the connections between zombie films (as a type of apocalyptic film) and the pervasive nuclear holocaust anxiety which arose in the United States following the advent of atomic weapons and their subsequent use. Although the concept of the destruction of the world was nothing new considering the events/prophecies of the Bible, the level of destructive force which once remained securely in the realm of the divine was now available as part of the push-button age. Though seen by some as a savior when first used against the Japanese in World War II, America’s relationship with nuclear weapons (and later nuclear power as well) soon changed due to the Cold War with its massive over stockpiling of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and accidents at both Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Though no longer as actively feared, many scholars would argue that nuclear holocaust anxiety groomed the social consciousness for a general holocaust anxiety which enabled later panics about AIDS, Y2K, severe acute respiratory syndrome, swine/avian flu, and 9/11-related terrorist attacks. Once the anxiety was integrated into the general social consciousness it enabled zombie films to enter the mainstream as a safe, comfortable pressure-release valve where this anxiety could be displaced. I look at what makes the zombie film an idea vehicle for the transfer and amelioration of nuclear holocaust anxiety.