"of course there are werewolves and vampires"

True blood and the right to rights for other species

Dale Hudson

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Abstract

    Often dismissed as superficial, vampire films and television series have been a dominant mode by which Hollywood has negotiated the ever-shifting contours of social difference in the United States since the 1920s and 1930s. Remarkably, critical analysis has paid little attention to the interconnections between racism, sexism, and speciesism-and almost no attention to ways that difference affects nonhuman animals. Drawing on work in animal studies and the posthumanities, this article explores the extent to which HBO's True Blood (2008-present) can contribute to the ongoing process of decolonizing thinking from the everyday habits defined by anthropocentrism. By featuring supernatural species, it questions unwitting complicity with forms of cinematic and televisual realism in reifying political realism. The series is premised on the political organization of vampires who advocate for the right to the right of citizenship, exploring ongoing asymmetries in social and political power through resurrected Confederate soldiers, ghosts of murdered women and children, and terrorism in the form of rebel vampire groups exploding the factories where synthetic blood is manufactured and multiracial hategroups of male and female humans wearing rubber "Barack Obama" masks and murdering shapeshifters. If the animal turn follows the postcolonial turn, then this article asks whether True Blood might suggest ways for humans to live ethically with other species and to think interspecies relations in ways that consider what interspecies ethics might also mean to humans still defined in terms of race, sex, nativity, and religion.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)661-687
    Number of pages27
    JournalAmerican Quarterly
    Volume65
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

    Fingerprint

    animal
    realism
    anthropocentrism
    television series
    sexism
    interconnection
    political power
    factory
    soldier
    asymmetry
    racism
    habits
    terrorism
    citizenship
    Religion
    moral philosophy
    organization
    present
    Vampires
    Blood

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • History

    Cite this

    "of course there are werewolves and vampires" : True blood and the right to rights for other species. / Hudson, Dale.

    In: American Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 3, 01.09.2013, p. 661-687.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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