University of Virginia professor and author Paul Cantor recently sat down with Reason.TV to discuss his new book The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture: Liberty vs. Authority in American Film and TV. During the brief interview he discusses the role of entertainment in culture and how the popularity of the undead and recent focus on the zombie apocalypse highlight a common theme of freedom from oppressive government that can easily be traced back to early American novels and plays.
Cantor has published many important scholarly works on Shakespeare, and in his previous book Gilligan Unbound: Pop Culture in the Age of Globalization he applied his talents to media and popular culture by analyzing a number of classic American television shows. However the college professor has always maintained a personal embargo against zombies… until now!
“Yes, I finally felt too much pressure that I ought to see if my thesis would apply to zombies. So I’ve just written an essay on The Walking Dead. And it led me to reflect on the widespread apocalyptic scenarios in American popular culture now; zombie plagues, alien invasions… And I realized that the primary fantasy on American television, right at the moment, is to get rid of the federal government.”
The original article and complete interview is available online at the Reason.TV website or by visiting the official YouTube Channel, where you can also sign-up to receive notifications whenever new material is posted. Professor Cantor’s new book is also currently available on Amazon in hardcover and Kindle editions.