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"Born in death": media and identity in post-war American and global fictions of the undead

Wilkinson, Jonathan (2015) "Born in death": media and identity in post-war American and global fictions of the undead. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Existing scholarship has largely overlooked that the undead are, famously, ‘us’. They are beings born from our deaths. Accordingly, their existence complicates the limits and value of our own. In this dissertation, I therefore argue that fictions of the undead reflect on questions of identity, meditating on the ways in which identities are created, distorted or otherwise reformed by the media to which their most important texts draw insistent attention. Analysing landmark texts from Post-War American contexts, this dissertation expands its hypothesis through three case studies, reading the texts in each as their own exercise in ontological thought. In each case study, I show that fictions of the undead reflect on the interactions between media and identity. However, there is no repeating model through which the themes of media, identity and undeath are repeatedly engaged. Each text’s formulation of these interacting themes is distinct to the other’s, suggesting that the significance of the undead and their respective tradition is not in the resounding ontological ‘answers’ that they and their texts inspire, but the questions that their problematic existential state asks.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Academic Units: The University of York > English and Related Literature (York)
Depositing User: Mr Jonathan Wilkinson
Date Deposited: 12 May 2015 14:10
Last Modified: 12 May 2015 14:10
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8740

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