Southern monsters in southern spaces
Hammock, Christen Elizabeth
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Vampires, zombies, and other monsters have long been written about as a narrative space to work through collective anxieties, and the latest incarnation of these paranormal stories is no exception. What is remarkable is that many of these stories have adopted a Southern setting to explore Otherness. In this thesis, I seek to explore the role that Southern milieus plays in three television shows: The Walking Dead, True Blood, and Dexter. These shows are deeply invested in the culture and history of different “Souths,” ranging from the “Old South” of rural Georgia to a new, transnational South in Miami, Florida. I argue that this trend stems from the South’s hybrid existence as both colonizer and colonized, master and slave, and that a nuanced engagement with various Souths presents a narrative space of potential healing and rehabilitation.