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Zombies are Chapulling or the Turks’ Ordeal with the Zombie Apocalypse

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

Unpublished
Publication date29/07/2015
Original languageEnglish
Event'Gothic Migrations' International Gothic Association 12th Biennial Conference - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 27/07/20151/08/2015

Conference

Conference'Gothic Migrations' International Gothic Association 12th Biennial Conference
CountryCanada
CityVancouver
Period27/07/151/08/15

Abstract

The zombie apocalypse has become one of the most influential subgenres of the Gothic in the twenty-first century. In American Zombie Gothic (2010), Kyle William Bishop considers the birth of this subgenre as a reaction to social and cultural anxieties of the globalised world caused by international terrorist attacks or epidemic illnesses that made tremendous impact, particularly on Western societies. However, do zombies and the concept of zombie apocalypse function in the same way when migrated to a non-Western culture? This paper aims to answer this question by investigating the first Turkish zombie graphic novel, Zombistan (2009), which focuses on issues of race, class and gender within Turkish society. Zombistan sets its plot in Istanbul and reflects the identity politics of modern Turkey through the zombie figure. What's more, the novel refers to the zombies as 'çapulcu' which translates into English as the barbarian or the vandal and also which has been a recurrent adjective to describe conflict, terrorism, and protest throughout the political history of Turkey. Therefore, in the light of Glennis Byron’s recent term Globalgothic, I discuss the transformation of the zombie figure and the subgenre’s conventions by contextualising these works with significant global and national events of the twenty-first century.