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From sugar to oil : the ecology of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968).

Oloff, Kerstin (2017) 'From sugar to oil : the ecology of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968).', Journal of postcolonial writing., 53 (3). pp. 316-328.


Reading the zombie as an essentially ecological figure, this article argues that zombie aesthetics are necessarily animated by the combined exploitation of alienated labour-power and appropriation of unpaid work/energy, material resources, agricultural lands and fossilized fuels. Though oil had always been crucial to the globalization of the zombie via the film industry, an overt preoccupation with oil only belatedly seeped into zombie aesthetics, just a few years before the global oil crisis of 1973. Marking a clear shift in zombie aesthetics, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) transformed the zombie-labourer into the human flesh-consuming petro-zombie horde. It is with Romero’s now canonical film, therefore, that the zombie truly enters the age of petromodernity.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Postcolonial Writing on 31/08/2017 available online at:
Date accepted:10 November 2016
Date deposited:12 October 2016
Date of first online publication:31 August 2017
Date first made open access:03 March 2019

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