I Am Already Dead: Essays on The CW's iZombie and Vertigo's iZOMBIE [Contracted with McFarland Publishers]
Editors Szanter and Richards seek original essays for an edited collection on Rob Thomas’s television series iZombie as well as the show’s graphic novel source material, Roberson and Allred’s iZOMBIE. This particular series has begun to overhaul modern constructions of the zombie in popular culture and media. While scholarship on the television zombie is not in short supply, particularly in regards to AMC’s The Walking Dead, we believe this particular show and comic series speak to a growing trend in zombie culture whereby the zombie “passes” as human—fully assimilating into normalized society. The collection aims to explore how this new, “improved” zombie altered popular notions of the zombie monster and brought in a new group of viewers who may shy away from the blood and gore tradition of other popular zombie narratives.
Chapters in the proposed collection can focus on one or more of the following categories:
- Explorations of how these two narratives construct gender—particularly in regards to femininity and masculinity. Are the rules for gender performance different for male/female zombies as opposed to male/female humans?
- Analyze the use of hackneyed stereotypes, especially in the television show, as the consumption of brains often leads the zombies to exhibit deeply stereotypical, sometimes racist, behaviors.
- Why does a fantastical narrative with zombies require a criminal procedural overlay? Why use this particular narrative structure to examine a pending zombie apocalypse?
- Analyze how TV show creator Rob Thomas adds iZombie to his current narrative oeuvre which often examines the “secret lives” of young people (i.e. Veronica Mars, Party Down, and 90210).
- How does the show grapple with Marxist ideology? The show almost always posits the central antagonist as a business or corporation. Why does the narrative’s use of vigilante justice always place the public/civil servant against the private sector?
- Examinations of the place/function of romance in the show and/or comic. Relationships function as a central part of the television show in particular. How do the complications of zombie life influence or impede relationships between humans/humans, humans/zombies, zombies/zombies?
- Modern monster theory as an important element of pop cultural study and relevance in an era of growing zombie imagery and narrative.
- Address The CW’s iZombie or Vertigo’s iZOMBIE through a particular scholarly lens.
- Explore how the narrative differences between televised media and comic/graphic novel media influence the evolution of zombies in the two iZombie universes. Why do the show and comic develop different behaviors and categories for their monsters? Why does the show deviate so far from the comic in terms of narrative and mythos?
- The CW’s iZombie as the result of genre exhaustion for both the traditional zombie genre as well as the paranormal romance genre. iZombie’s network is known for attractive characters/actors and a strong inclusion of romance and sexuality. Have we taken zombies and paranormal romance as far as they can go without expanding the new ZomRomCom to include heartthrob zombies?
- Address iZombie or iZOMBIE and intersectionality. Of particular interest to the editors are non-binary gender and sexuality, feminism, race, “passing,” and non-traditional/deconstructed families or relationships.
Abstract Due Dates and Further Information
Preference will be given to abstracts received before September 30, 2016. Abstracts should be no longer than 350 words and be accompanied by a current CV.
** It is important to note, due to copyright, authors are highly discouraged from using any images from the show or graphic novel. In addition, direct quotations from the show or comic should be kept a minimum because copyright prevents us from having more than ten percent of the text taken directly from a copyrighted source.
Final manuscripts of 5,000-8,000 words should be submitted in MLA style by January 1, 2017 by accepted contributors.