Observing the current popularity of the zombie narrative in American culture, this thesis explores the questions “why zombie?” and “why now?” through a combination of research and the creation of an original zombie story. Moving beyond existing criticism which argues that the zombie transforms to fit each generation’s specific fears, I argue that zombie movies, novels, and video games from George A. Romero-onwards continually speak to a distrust of science and scientific progress while additionally romanticizing the post-apocalyptic landscape. Consequently, the zombie’s unprecedented mainstream popularity over the last fifteen years could be read as symptomatic of this distrust intensifying, paralleling an increasing politicization of science and a rise in apocalyptic thinking within the public sphere. Through the deconstruction of my own zombie story, I uncover not only what these timely narratives tell us about our perceptions of the future, but also how they can help us change them.
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