Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory as we prep for the zombie apocalypse. In her new book Going Viral: Zombies, Viruses, and the End of the World
(Rutgers University Press, 2018), Dahlia Schweitzer
brings them together as she explores the outbreak narrative in popular film, television and other media. Examining the outbreak narrative in popular culture, Schweitzer traces the film cycle of the outbreak narrative as it plays out in the themes of globalization, terrorism, and the end of civilization. Schweitzer explores how popular cultural narratives in additional to official media sources heighten and perpetuate the fears created through the outbreak narrative. Although we leave in a world that is far safer today than most any time in history, the outbreak narrative as it is structured in popular culture creates a pattern of fear and conspiracy theories that are representative of larger societal panics. Well researched and covering a wide array of film, television, and other media that address the outbreak narratives, Schweitzer's book is a must read for individuals interested in a sociological read of the ways film and television illustrate larger, global concerns.
Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English at Western Illinois University. She researches zines, zine writers and the influence of music subcultures and fandom on writers and narratives. She is the author of Writing a Riot: Riot Grrrl Zines and Feminist Rhetorics (Peter Lang, 2018). You can find more about her on her website, follow her on Twitter @rj_buchanan or email her at email@example.com.