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Call for Proposals

Romancing the Zombie: Falling in Love with the Undead in the 21st Century



Ashley Szanter, Weber State University

Jessica K. Richards, Weber State University

Project Overview

Editors Szanter and Richards seek original essays for an edited collection on romance in the zombie genre. This collection is under contract with McFarland Publishers. The 21st century has seen a greater willingness to portray the undead as possible candidates for sexual and romantic partnership as well as engaging with overarching themes of romance and relationships in apocalyptic settings. Romance is a generally neglected corner of zombie scholarship largely because of its implied necrophilia. However, it is flourishing in films, literature, and television shows that explore romantic relationships with corpses in various states of decay. This collection will explore this generation’s relatively new tendency to sexualize zombies as attractive and alluring.  


Chapters in the proposed collection can focus on one or more of the following categories:

  • Recent zombie adaptations iZombie (2015-), Warm Bodies (2013), Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016).

  • Examinations of the place/function of romance in the zombie genre. How do humans fall in love, create “family,” and procreate in the zombie apocalypse space. What role does romance play when romantic partners turn into zombies? Consider Shaun of the Dead (2004), Fido (2006), Zombieland (2009), The Walking Dead (2010-), Z Nation (2014-), The Returned (2015), and Fear the Walking Dead (2015-).

  • Modern monster theory as an important element of pop cultural study and relevance in an era of growing zombie imagery and narrative.

  • Address contemporary romantic zombie fictions through a particular scholarly lens.

  • Explore the zombie romance phenomenon in written zombie fiction, particularly in the romance genre. Texts for consideration might be the Warm Bodies series by Isaac Marion, the Generation Dead series by David Waters, I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It by Daniel Selzer, Gone with the Respiration series by Lia Habel, The Loving Dead by Amelia Beamer, or The Last Bastion of the Living series by Rhiannon Frater.

  • The romantic zombie as the result of genre exhaustion for both the traditional zombie genre as well as the paranormal romance genre. Have we taken zombies and paranormal romance as far as they can go without expanding the new ZomRomCom?

  • Address the romantic zombie in terms of generational disparity. Why does the romantic zombie tend to be a creation of newer generations (Millennials and their successors) rather the Romero-esque zombies of Generation X and the Baby Boomers?

  • Address romantic zombies and intersectionality. Of particular interest to the editors are non-binary gender and sexuality, feminism, and non-traditional/deconstructed families or relationships.


Abstract Due Dates


Preference will be given to abstracts received before May 15, 2016. Abstracts should be no longer than 350 words and be accompanied by a current CV.

Final manuscripts of 6,000-8,000 words should be submitted in MLA style by September 15, 2016.


Contact us and send abstracts to Ashley and Jessica at


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