Wishing for the apocalypse: The Walking Dead as an ecosophic object

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Abstract

In this paper, we open up a debate about the political message of The Walking Dead television series by critiquing the method and findings of its existing ideological interpretations. The series has spawned several critical analyses that suggest the series provides an endorsement of ‘Trump values’ – such as social conservatism, fascism and right-wing triumphalism. These analyses, we argue, are mired in a process of ideological overcoding which fails to appreciate the revolutionary ‘structures of feeling’ that the text creates in its audience. By unpacking the text as a ‘body genre’, we argue that watching The Walking Dead actually develops an affective desire for relatedness, codependence and the development of a collective politics. We argue these feelings resonate with The Walking Dead’s audience and that, as such, the text stands as an example of what Guattari calls ‘an ecosophic object’ a cultural object with the potential to generate social change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-723
Number of pages10
JournalContinuum
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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