Kari Nixon
Scholar of Medical Humanities and Victorian Literature

Zombies and Healthcare

Zombies and Healthcare


In this article, I sketched out some similarities between post-apocalyptic zombie worlds, in which half of the population by definition can’t survive while the other half lives, and an unsustainable American healthcare model that can only function when it leaves people under-served.

Publication Info: “‘Find the Microbe and Kill It:’ Victorian Viral Virulence, Postmodern Zombies, and the American Healthcare Enterprise.” The Walking Med: Zombies and Medical Language. Ed. Sherryl Vint and Lorenzo Servitje. Forthcoming. University Park: Penn State UP, 2016.

Text-type Considered:

Graphic novels

Texts included:

The Walking Dead and Crossed

Conceptual Influences:

Atul Gawande, Freud, Kristeva




“Here is the crux of the issue represented in The Walking Dead’s style: the system of American medical practices cannot sustainably treat everyone, and therefore relies on superficial differences (in our real-world economic striations, in the series-world false corporeal binaries) to sift out a small subsection of the population deemed worthy of treating with limited and irresponsibly allocated resources.”