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Race, oppression, and the zombie : essays on…

Race, oppression, and the zombie : essays on cross-cultural appropriations…

by Christopher M. Moreman, Ronjon Paul Datta (Contributor), Edward Dutton (Contributor), Ann Kordas (Contributor), Christopher M. Moreman (Editor)1 more, Cory James Rushton (Editor)

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was writing something that included an undead character. Not a vampire or zombie in the sense that we think of them today, but more along the lines of the Haitian Voodoo/Vodou zombies. As research I read Zora Neal Hurston's Tell My Horse and attempted to read this book, Race, Oppression and the Zombie: Essays on Cross-Cultural Appropriations and the Caribbean Traditions. The Hurston book was great - informative and helpful. This however...dry as a bone. I know it's chock-full of great information but I just could not even get past the introduction.

It may be my loss, but I was unable to continue with this and ultimately passed it on to my sister who is a huge zombie film fanatic and loves to read this sort of dry analysis of the horror film genre. Best of luck to her. ( )
  blakefraina | Nov 27, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
From the origins of zombies in the belief system of Haitian Vodou to the movie 'Night of the Living Dead' considered in the era of Sidney Poitier, to the legacy of orientalism, zombie consumerism, and current-day racial/national conflicts, this wide-ranging collection engages on a great many levels. Some of the essays are more academic than others (perhaps too much so for a general reader), but as a whole they offer a complex look at how a particular cultural tradition has been appropriated to embody a dizzying array of cultural anxieties. I appreciated the breadth of engagement in the topic from a variety of fields. ( )
1 vote seidchen | Mar 4, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This anthology of academic research on zombie lore is about the "Caribbean tradition" of the zombie as a reanimated corpse, or a spirit enslaved by a magician. A companion volume, published at the same time by the same editors, deals with the more recent Hollywood tradition of zombies as hordes of flesh-eating drones caused by some sort of catastrophe. The distinction is a valid one. In the United States the "Caribbean tradition," as the editors' introduction and several other contributions argue, has often become tangled up in the country's obsession with race. It's not for nothing that the zombie originated in Haiti, the second oldest republic in the Americas, and the only one created by a rebellion of black creole slaves.

The chapters in the book are uneven, and I won't try to describe each one. It's not the kind of book that usually finds a mass market, but is aimed more at research libraries. Cultural historians, scholars of American studies, and literary types will form their own opinions of the insights offered here. More generally, devoted fans of horror movies and shlock cinema may find this book worth seeking out for its filmography alone.
  Muscogulus | Jan 9, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A witty, smart, often sophisticated, multi-disciplinary collection of essays reading the cultural symbolism of the zombie. The introduction is excellent, as is the essay on ethnobotanist Wade Davis and that on Orientalism and the zombie. Not all essays are as interesting or rigorous as they could be, but as a collection that takes a trivialized subject seriously, this is a success. ( )
1 vote susanbooks | Dec 17, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Let me start by saying this book is not for laymen. Despite the B-movie cover, this is serious scholarly work, and most of it quite good--even if some of it is not particularly well-written (which matters when the author is trying to explicate complicated academic concepts). That said, I really liked the multi-disciplinary approach the editors have taken here. The academy would benefit from more books that bring together papers from different disciplines on single topics (although admittedly there aren't many topics as rich for generating multi-disciplinary metaphors as the Zombie). Of course, the variety in the essays means the title is a little misleading. Only some of the papers presented here actually deal directly with topics of race and cultural appropriation. There's actually a lot more here than the narrow title and subtitle suggest. ( )
1 vote TheBentley | Dec 17, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christopher M. Moremanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Datta, Ronjon PaulContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dutton, EdwardContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kordas, AnnContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Moreman, Christopher M.Editormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Rushton, Cory JamesEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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The "real" Haitian zombie is not only revenant but phantom, the subject of competing ethnographic and historical claims, seemingly eclipsed by a scarier, more ghoulish Hollywood descendent ... the Haitian zombie has not disappeared as fully as it might seem [however] - the Caribbean roots of "the only modern myth" remain the first and perhaps best way to explain and explore all modern manifestations of zombieness.
The cultural currency of the zombie, rooted in a fluidity which allows the trope to be used in a variety of academic disciplines and cultural contexts, the very openness of the metaphor - paradoxically now moves hand-in-hand with the waning of the genre itself.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786459115, Paperback)

The figure of the zombie is a familiar one in world culture, acting as a metaphor for "the other," a participant in narratives of life and death, good and evil, and of a fate worse than death--the state of being "undead." This book explores the phenomenon from its roots in Haitian folklore to its evolution on the silver screen and to its radical transformation during the 1960s countercultural revolution. Contributors from a broad range of disciplines here examine the zombie and its relationship to colonialism, orientalism, racism, globalism, capitalism and more--including potential signs that the zombie hordes may have finally achieved oversaturation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:29 -0400)

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