Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Welsh

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor

Second Advisor

Dr. Lauren Eisler

Advisor Role

Committee Member

Third Advisor

Dr. Debra Langan

Advisor Role

Committee Member


Post-apocalyptic narratives and themes have become increasingly popular in film, television and graphic novels. By imagining a society without the state, post-apocalyptic narratives are able to explore concerns about current forms of governance and social control. The post-apocalyptic narrative is particularly relevant in a post-9/11 society where public concerns about security and governance are prominent. In this study, I examined the potential allegorical function of the zombie narrative found in Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead. Specifically, this project involves an ethnographic content analysis of issues 1-100 of The Walking Dead graphic novel series. Analysis focused on the allegorical purposes of the zombie in relation to neoliberal governance, Agamben’s state of exception, security and surveillance, and biopower/biopolitics. Utilizing the concept of the 'hall of mirrors', to extend the ambivalence reflected in this study to the general feelings of members of society, this study suggests that the population may struggle with a somewhat complicated and ambiguous relationship with strategies utilized under a neoliberal style of governance.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season