Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Diana Choi L&S Arts & Humanities

The Monstrosity of Zombies: The Limits of Humanness Under Capitalism

The horror genre — malleable, in some ways, to wider cultural shifts — takes up many different forms, conventions, surfaces, and bodies. Of these different horrific figures, zombies are the surface and body of interest for this project. Taking up a general scope of a “post-Romero” genre of zombie films, to instantiate the impact of the George A. Romero zombies films on the genre conventions of the contemporary zombie movie, the monstrosity of these zombies may be obvious, but the goal of this project is to investigate what lies beneath the surface of coagulated blood, rotting flesh, and their cannibalistic ‘lifestyles.’ Led by the disciplines of disability, gender, and Black studies, and utilizing concepts of racial capitalism, normality, and animality, this project serves to understand what these constant visual reimaginations of the living and consuming undead tell us about our fears in the American cultural imaginary. The project will explore the ways in which the American zombie genre takes up the body as the site of horror, the site of ‘infinite’ capitalist production and exploitation, and as the site of self-construction. 

Message To Sponsor

Thank you so much to the people behind the Adam Z. Rice Fund for giving me this opportunity to do this research. I hope that I can honor Adam’s memory by conducting my research with our shared intellectual curiosities, from what I have heard from Professor Palmer, and with our shared joy and love for American Studies. Thank you so much for this opportunity to joyously engage with this field of study!
Major: American Studies Major, Disability Studies Minor
Mentor: Christine Palmer
Sponsor: Rice Fund
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