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A Semiotic Analysis of the African American Character Ben in the Film Night of the Living Dead, in Relation to Literary Media Theory

11 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2008  

Kara L. Smith

Karasma Media Public Relations and Publicity

Date Written: August 21, 2005

Abstract

This paper is the result of an exploration into the literary reviews of the contemporary psycho-thriller/horror genre and a semiotic analysis of the African-American lead, 'Ben', in the film Night of the Living Dead, the film credited with being the Godfather of the splatter film genre. While conducting literary media theory research, I found numerous articles on the horror and psychological thriller genres. However, with the exception of discussions of Blaxploitation films, dialogue pertaining to this genre in relation to the psychology and culture of the modern-day African American community was virtually non-existent.

Correspondingly, cultural theorists Stuart Hall and bell hooks often comment on the inappropriate absence the African diaspora within the writings of the majority of popular media theorists. Therefore, the main aim of this paper is to contribute a small piece of criticism to fill this notable gap in the mainstream of film genre theory.

Keywords: Night of the Living Dead, Semiotic Analysis, Literary Media Theory, African American, culture, Blaxploitation, film, cultural theorist

JEL Classification: Z100, Z10

Suggested Citation

Smith, Kara L., A Semiotic Analysis of the African American Character Ben in the Film Night of the Living Dead, in Relation to Literary Media Theory (August 21, 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1096548 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1096548

Kara L Smith (Contact Author)

Karasma Media Public Relations and Publicity ( email )

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