Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Humanities and Cultural Studies

Major Professor

Dan Belgrad, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Andrew Berish, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Phillip Sipiora, Ph.D.


Horror, Film, Zombie, Psychosocial, Cultural Hegemony


Analyzing George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978) in relation to the early works of Marshal McLuhan, Erich Fromm, and Herbert Marcuse reveals an ideological parallel that can be explicated using Antonio Gramsci's theory of cultural hegemony. While McLuhan, Marcuse, and Fromm observe, in order to critique, social manifestations of power in a consumerist system, Romero presents a model of hegemony in his films that he exposes to extreme stress thereby allowing viewers to observe such manifestations of power for themselves. These analyses are significant because although Marcuse, McLuhan, Fromm, and Romero present congruous ideologies, scholars of Dawn of the Dead and Night of the Living Dead have failed to recognize cultural hegemony as the source of the psychosocial criticism within each film.