Award Date

5-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Department

Communication

First Committee Member

David Henry, Chair

Second Committee Member

Tara McManus

Third Committee Member

Jacob Thompson

Graduate Faculty Representative

John Irsfeld

Number of Pages

126

Abstract

Previous scholars have identified three scenes of the American frontier myth: the sea, the west, and space. This evolution of frontiers reflected key changes in the expression of America’s cultural identity. While Janice Hocker Rushing called space “the final frontier,” the prominent place in contemporary society held by zombies and other minions of the occult hint at the emergence of yet another scene of the American mythos: the post apocalypse. In contrast to previous frontiers, which are defined geographically, the post-apocalypse is much broader, for in the wake of a global cataclysm, everywhere is a potential frontier. This decentralization of mythic scene reflects a crisis in consciousness within contemporary American society. Pentadic and mythic analysis of two films, The Road and 28 Days Later, illuminates the salient dimensions of the postapocalyptic frontier and provides workable solutions to this crisis.

Keywords

Burke; Film; Frontier; Myth; Rushing; Transmodernism

Disciplines

American Studies | Communication | Critical and Cultural Studies | Film and Media Studies | Modern Literature

Language

English


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