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Introduction

  • John R. Ziegler
Chapter

Abstract

This introduction argues that The Walking Dead’s zombie narrative reflects cultural anxiety over the family unit. Threats of familial destruction or conversion come not only from zombies but also from non-heteronormative relationalities. Lee Edelman implicates the family in reproductive futurism, which enforces heteronormativity and depends upon the figure of the Child, presumed guarantee of a social future. Zombies represent a queer challenge to reproductive futurism, which a zombie child intensifies. The traditional nuclear family’s persistent dominance in the postapocalypse of The Walking Dead propels efforts to contain possibilities for alternative family structures, which repeatedly arise. Tracing how the franchise represents the transgression of heteronorms narratively, visually, and rhetorically reveals how recurring elements in those representations function to attempt to normalize, naturalize, and police sociosexual ideologies.

Keywords

The Walking Dead Nuclear family Reproductive futurism Zombies Queer 

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Episodes Referenced

  1. “The Big Scary U” (season 8, episode 5, 2017)Google Scholar
  2. “Days Gone Bye” (season 1, episode 1, 2010)Google Scholar
  3. “Not Tomorrow Yet” (season 6, episode 12, 2016)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Ziegler
    • 1
  1. 1.English DepartmentBronx Community College, CUNYBronxUSA

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