Why Zombie?


Zombies are everywhere…but why?

In Why Zombie? J.D. Thompson explores perspectives on the steady rise and deeper meaning of the zombie as the quintessential post-modern monster for the post-Cold War era.

Part pop-culture survey, part movie review, and part polemic, Why Zombie? was first published in 2015 as an exploratory monograph for a more comprehensive work of cultural theory that looks at the introduction and evolution of movie monsters and their meanings in modern social and cultural contexts.

Juxtaposed to the ideas of thinkers like Carl Jung and Jungians like Joseph Campbell, Thompson argues monsters are not fixed subjects with universal meanings. In this way, Thompson sets himself apart from other contemporary cultural theorists by putting forward the case that monsters resonate with various people for different reasons in different historical periods. He rebuts Lauro and Embry’s “Zombie Manifesto” arguing instead that the swift arrival and sustained presence of the zombie in the popular imagination cannot be adequately explained by the law of supply and demand, provoking questions about the subtle workings of ideology in the production and development of popular culture.