Johnson, Dominique Deirdre. "Misogynoir and antiblack racism: What The Walking Dead teaches us about the limits of Speculative Fiction fandom." Journal of Fandom Studies 3.(2015): 259–76.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Johnson2015
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Keywords: "The Walking Dead", Adlard. Charlie, Ethnicity, Fandom, Gender, Horror, Kirkman. Robert, USA
Collection: Journal of Fandom Studies
Antiblack racial antagonisms manifest in discourse through audience engagement with characters in Speculative Fiction (SF). This article addresses the ways that a fictional black woman in a popular SF series gets constructed in the public imaginaries of a popular fandom community. The character Michonne from the dystopian comic book series and television drama, The Walking Dead, provides an excellent occasion to examine audience engagement that distinctly operates within a recognizable cultural frame. The character’s reception between has sparked much debate and criticism due to the ways that she is understood and dramatized in relation to other characters in the series. While a majority of fan content regarding the character recognizes her skill and abilities for survival with relative positivity, she is routinely regarded as an outsider, perpetually unfeeling or emotionally inept. The result is a broad lack of empathy mitigated by antiblack misogyny. It is as though her character is regarded as a functional object (a weapon) and less than human, which bears the weight of the question of black non-ontology as a requirement for social order. This is particularly interesting within an imagined world of the undead. This article interrogates the ways in which fandom communities actively cite, circulate and produce discourses that sustain structural antagonisms, as well as how they contribute to, respond, or engage particularly problematic tropes regarding black female subjectivities.