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CFP: Managing the Undead: The Limits of Citizenship

Prospective panel for SCMS Conference, New Orleans, LA, March 10-13, 2011

Do one’s political rights end when the body ceases to live?  What if that
dead body came back to life?  Ghosts, vampires, zombies and other undead
figures often may be constructed as beings whose desires/drives run counter
to the well-being of the living, but in many texts, they are an integral
part of the community and serve living interests.  Yet, these undead are
often depicted as operating in a space with limited, if any, political
rights: they may be functionally “living” but they are socially dead.

This panel seeks papers that interrogate the limits of how citizenship is
imagined through the bodies of the undead.  In what ways do these beings
serve the state’s interests or challenge them, and how do texts in a variety
of media conceive of the undead as political entities?

Potential topics might include, but are not limited to:

·      The political status of vampires in True Blood

·      Zombie rights (“Masters of Horror: Homecoming,” Les revenants/They
Came Back, American Zombie)

·      Ghostly testimony in Rashomon, Ghost or The Sixth Sense

·      The undead as agents for the state (I was a Zombie for the FBI,
“Forever Knight”)

Please submit a 300 word abstract with a five-item bibliography and a brief
author bio to Chera Kee at [log in to unmask] by Tuesday, August 10th.

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Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: http://www.tcf.ua.edu