Zombies: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


1st Edition

By Jennifer Rutherford


114 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2013-09-10
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Not so long ago zombies rarely shuffled out of B-grade horror movies and cult comic books, but today they are everywhere. Zombies are proliferating, demonstrating an extraordinary capacity to transport fluidly from genre to genre, from the apocalyptic future to the already survived past, and in and out of fictional form. 

Today they can be found in just about any genre or discourse and as they move sinuously across the cultural landscape they keep morphing; taking on ever new and ever more bizarre associations. Zombies would appear to be unthinkable, the ultimate nightmare of a world devoured by the dead, and yet more and more often this horror-scape provides a form of figurative capture for the way things are. This book explores why.

Zombies explores the recent transformation of zombie from cult genre to a figure that pervades western culture. Rutherford examines the zombie as a powerful metaphor for a constellation of social forces that define contemporary reality. This is an ideal introduction to all that is social about zombies, for students and general readers alike.

Extracts from Zombies, were recently published in Australian newspapers, The Age, The Canberra Times and the Sydney Morning Herald. Available now to read online: www.theage.com.au/entertainment/books/dead-right-20130620-2olqr.html


“A significant contribution to the field of zombie studies… The book is remarkable for the way the author brings together a wide range of contemporary philosophical thought about the zombie… Recommended.”

J M Pulliam, Louisiana State University, Choice Magazine

"Jennifer Rutherford's fine book is an excellent introduction to zombies for those who wish to go beyond mere enjoyment of modern zombie narratives towards a deeper understanding of the mermeneutic implications of the genre."— Max Sipowicz, Australian Book Review

Table of Contents

Series editor's preface. 1. Monstration 2. The Collective Zombie 3. Zombie Erotics 4. The Zombie Opera 5. Carrion Dreams. Bibliography

About the Author

Jennifer Rutherford is Deputy Director of the Hawke Research Institute at the University of South Australia.

About the Series


Shortcuts is a major new series of concise, accessible introductions to some of the major issues of our times. The series is developed as an A to Z coverage of emergent or new social, cultural and political phenomena. Issues and topics covered range from food to fat, from climate change to suicide bombing, from love to zombies. Whilst the principal focus of Shortcuts is the relevance of current issues, topics and debates to the social sciences and humanities, the books will also appeal to a wider audience seeking guidance on how to engage with today’s leading social, political and philosophical debates. Short and concise, the books will include cutting-edge pedagogical features such as a glossary of key terms, one-page argument summaries and a webliography.

Anthony Elliott is Director of the Hawke Research Institute, where he is Research Professor of Sociology at the University of South Australia. He is also Visiting Professor at University College Dublin, Ireland. His contact information is:


Professor Anthony Elliott, FASSA

Director, Hawke Research Institute

Research Professor of Sociology

University of South Australia

GPO Box 2471

Adelaide SA 5001


Tel.: 61 8 8302 1084

Email: anthony.elliott@unisa.edu.au

Website: www.unisa.edu.au


UCD School of Sociology
Newman Building
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
Tel: +353 1 716 8674
Fax: +353 1 716 1125

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General