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Necropolitics in a post-apocalyptic zombie diaspora: The case of AMC’s The Walking Dead

O’Mahony, L., Merchant, M.ORCID: 0000-0003-0923-1561 and Order, S. (2021) Necropolitics in a post-apocalyptic zombie diaspora: The case of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 57 (1). pp. 89-103.

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American Movie Classics’ (AMC) popular television series The Walking Dead (2010–present) transports viewers into an apocalyptic zombie dystopia where the lines between safety and precarity, being governed and governing, or being alive and/or dead slip and change. Utilizing Achille Mbembe’s term “necropolitics”, the article explores The Walking Dead’s representation of governance and power in terms of individual and group security. While the zombie has been understood as the liminal figure par excellence, The Walking Dead’s non-zombie characters illustrate diasporic liminality as refugees, hovering on or near the threshold of death. The scale of suffering or prosperity is determined by who leads or governs. Frequently, those deemed “in charge” exercise power and control to discipline, to punish, and to provide security. The series offers a metaphor for the potential uses of power in biological, environmental, or natural disaster situations where survivors grapple with scarce resources and the constant presence of death.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): IT, Media and Communications
Publisher: Routledge
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