Does it suddenly seem like the living dead are everywhere? Lumbering past cyborgs, mutants, werewolves, and, yes, even vampires, zombies are the monsters du jour. Zombies have taken up residence in the pages of fiction (literary hits such as Colson Whitehead’s Zone One, The Walking Dead comic books, pulp zombie apocalypse narratives such as World War Z, and young adult fiction such as Warm Bodies) and inhabit our various screens, from television shows such as AMC’s ubiquitous The Walking Dead, to movies (from 1968’s Night of the Living Dead to the more recent 28 Days Later, I Am Legend, and Shaun of the Dead), and video games (Resident Evil, Left 4 Dead). We have zombie runs, zombie computers, Nazi zombies, and zombie banks. Even zombie strippers and zombie studies. They have come from space, from nature, from biotech labs, and the dark recesses of the globe. They even have their own CDC website and inhabit a growing area of
scholarly debate over the status of philosophical zombies. We’re seemingly surrounded by the living dead.
What are zombies and why are they now so prevalent across both pop culture and academia? The Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory proposes a special issue to critically examine the resurgence of interest in the zombie as a cultural and political figure. We invite papers from across the disciplines that explore diverse aspects of
this vibrant cultural phenomenon and address the current popularity of the living dead.
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