PJAS 9-9

Karolina Słotwińska, Be Rising Multitude: Zombie Invasion and the Problem of Biopolitics in Max Brooks?s World War Z
Polish Journal for American Studies, vol. 9, 2015, p. 151-164.

Abstract: This essay outlines the transnational history of the zombie, arguing for the Figure?s revolutionary potential. Approaching the zombie as a complex social practice, I recall its ritualistic African and Haitian roots, the figure?s transposition from Haitian folklore into American ethnographic writings, and its later Hollywood reconfigurations. Insisting on the zombie’s proto-biopolitical character, I propose to see the figure’s continued cultural
currency as predicated on its articulation of political dynamics in the globalized world. Noting the historically inscribed rebellious potential of the zombie, I hold that the newest zombie novels suggest that the zombie horde can be seen as a new political subject in the era of late capitalism-the multitude, heralded by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. The transnational nature of the zombie multitude is explored in this essay in the context of Max Brooks’s World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (2006), which capitalizes on the possible awareness-raising potential of the modern pop-cultural evocations of the zombie.

Keywords: zombie, invasion, multitude, biopolitics, Max Brooks, World War Z

DOI: 10.7311/PJAS.9/2015/8

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