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Hi.I would like you to write me a paper. The paper has to be between 5-7 pages, noting that a page has to be a relatively filled one. I have already compiled all the articles I want you to use and I will also provide you a citations page where you can then copy the citations to the final paper and arrange them correctly in the proper order. Please note that this paper has to be in MLA format.These are the instructions required as per my instructor:Individual final written essays (from every student) require you to gather and analyze *at least 2 new popular/journalistic sources* and *2 new academic/scholarly sources*. You will present your ideas/analysis about a significant comparison/contrast between the vampire genre and another â??undeadâ?/horror format to the class in a manner you design.Each student should then submit an individual 5-7 page document outlining your own personal research for this topic.The following are some DISCUSSION POINTS and DO NOT Necessarily have to be followed, they are just for giving some ideas:â??You should think about some of the following discussion points (additional points of discussion from your own interest in the material are welcome and encouraged) — these are just to get you thinking:– How has the concept of vampirism changed through history, as reflected in literature and/or film?– How do vampires (and/or other undead figures) continually work as a metaphor for contracted/viral or sexually transmitted diseases?– How are male undead figures treated vs female undead figures? (Does this change with different undead forms?) How does gender play a part in these narratives?– How have the â??rulesâ? about vampirism/other undead creatures changed?– How has vampire behavior in changed? How are they viewed or how do they exist/co-exist in society? How does this differ with other â??undeadâ? forms or formulas?– How are supporting characters meaningful in these narratives?– Could the term â??Blood, Lust, and the American Dreamâ? have meaning in relation to other undead genres? Which ones, and why?â?8
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Article
Critical geosophies: A
pyschotopological reading
of Riceâ??s vampires and
Romeroâ??s zombies
Environment and Planning D: Society and
Space
2017, Vol. 35(3) 533â??549
! The Author(s) 2016
Reprints and permissions:
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DOI: 10.1177/0263775816662468
journals.sagepub.com/home/epd
Kolson Schlosser
Temple University, USA
Abstract
Anne Rice and George Romero are two of the foremost transformative authors of vampire and
zombie fiction in the United States. This reading of their work applies a psychotopological lens to
the first two novels of Riceâ??s Vampire Chronicles and the first three films of Romeroâ??s Living Dead
series. It differs from numerous preceding analyses of monster fiction mostly in the theoretical
apparatus it articulates to link the psychic fear vampires and zombies evoke with the topologies of
space and power they evince. This intervention invokes a negative understanding of dialectical
materialism to analyze human-monster thresholds as political sites. It builds this theorization
primarily from the works of Slavoj ZÌ?izÌ?ek, Sara Ahmed, Julia Kristeva, Kojin Karatani, and to a
lesser extent Joan Copjec. The result is a psychotopological analysis that challenges
understandings of the monster as either timeless allegories for the systemic order or as
endlessly interpretive contingencies. It also reads the topological forms of Riceâ??s vampires and
Romeroâ??s zombies in relation to each other. Understanding psychic space and topologies of
power as integral to each other helps read the vampire and the zombie as myths which
endure because of the fears of class exploitation and social collectivism they stoke.
Keywords
Topology, pyschoanalysis, psychotopology, vampires, zombies
Introduction
It is well known that the vampire was Marxâ??s preferred metaphor for the exploitation intrinsic
to the capitalist order. That is not to say, of course, that vampire fiction necessarily seeks to
illustrate Marxist theory, as the vampire as a literary figure pre-dates capitalism, let alone
Marx. But the ease with which the vampire as popularly understood finds congruity with
Marxist critique has rendered anxieties about economic life as one of the foremost theories of
not just the vampire, but the monster in general. As the theory goes, the vampire sucking
Corresponding author:
Kolson Schlosser, Department of Geography and Urban Studies/Environmental Studies, Temple University, 307 Glafelter
Hall, , PA 19122, USA.
Email: kolson@temple.edu
534
Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 35(3)
the blood from its victim to assure its immortality parallels the extraction of value from living
labor (the worker) by dead labor (capital) to be dialectically reified in built structure (Latham,
2002; McNally, 2011). I think there is a great deal of merit in this interpretation, but even so, it
involves a fair amount of conceptual slippage. For example, within this broad interpretation
McNally (2011) also posits the ideological function of monster fiction as normalizing
capitalism by rendering the crises its creates as anomalous. In his analysis the vampire slips
from being a fact of everyday material reality to signifying the exception to that reality, a
contradiction which, in my opinion, results from the fact that he con�ates vampires with all
forms of monster. McNally attempts to resolve this problem by arguing that vampiric
capitalism, by re-invigorating dead labor, dialectically produces that which is symbolized
by the zombie: a social order guided by a logic alien to its own interests.1 Newitz (2006, 3)
likewise argues that the fundamental message of monster fiction is that â??â??capitalism creates
monsters that want to kill you.â??â?? No matter the monster nor the context, then, they are
capitalism one way or another.
The above theories assume that all viewers are invested in improving their own material
lot above all else, as if they are sub-consciously anti-capitalist and fear no â??â??Otherâ??â?? save the
social diï¬?erence capitalism articulates (e.g. â??â??false consciousnessâ??â??). So if monsters are not
allegories for the systemic order, what are they? Can they, as some argue, stand in for any
particular Other, anywhere and anytime? Auerbach (1995: 3) argues that vampires â??â??are too
mutable to be allegories,â??â?? meaning that they take shape within their political contexts and
cannot be reduced to any one critique. From a Freudian perspective, Wood (1986: 70) o�ers
a â??â??general theory of the horror filmâ??â?? wherein zombies (and other monsters) can be explained
as expressions of whatever is psychically repressed in a given society; in other words, that
monster narratives exist has a structural explanation for Wood, but their form needs to be
situated historically. Likewise, Mariani (2015) describes the zombie as a â??â??handy Rorsach test
for Americaâ??s social ills.â??â?? Rather than the one true ideological function of the monster, these
authors see them as adaptable based on the needs of the consuming subject.
But as I aim to show, this understanding of the monster as suitably adaptable â??â??Otherâ??â??
has its conceptual �aws as well. While monsters are mutable in many ways, they still endure
in othersâ??specifically in terms of the topologies of power and space they evince. The
vampire is conscious of its actions but unfeeling toward them, preying upon powerless
and unsuspecting commoners of a di�erent social stripe. Gaining its strength from theirs,
it is an immortal parasite from above. This can be seen not only in classic European Gothic
fiction (such as Dracula [1897]â??to be discussed later), but in its American counterpart. For
example, the year before Anne Rice penned the first installment of The Vampire Chronicles,
Stephen King (1975) portrayed the terrorization of small town Americana by a wealthy
German vampire living high on a hill in Salemâ??s Lot. The frequent grousing of the
townsfolk about cultural decline is set against less obvious material changes in economy,
land tenure and technology (including real estate speculation, the corporatization of
agriculture, the privatization of utilities, etc.). The central tension of the novel is whether
the communal ties that bind are strong enough to resist the blood-sucking ways of the
wealthy businessman who lives high on the hill. The vampire is dead, but gains its social
power by sucking the life from the living, as capital drains living labor.
The American cinematic version of the zombie (its Haitian origins notwithstanding) is its
topological reverse; it is weak individually, but gains its power only as the â??â??massesâ??â?? so to
speak. As a dead but mobile human it is not â??â??from aboveâ??â?? but â??â??from within.â??â?? Zombies
operate collectively to close in on their preyâ??which represent the last remnants of sentient
individualism. The vampire is hyper-individualistic; the zombie cannot think on its own, but
threatens the wholeness of the individual. I approach my interpretation on the theoretical
Schlosser
535
grounds that the spatiality of the monster is â??â??always-already-read. . . through sedimented
layers of previous interpretationsâ??â?? (Jameson, 1981: 9). As such they can be understood as
symbols of what Jameson (1981) terms a political unconscious, thus linked through an
interdiscursive or intertextual fabric and intelligible relative to each other. This is why
I address both vampires and zombies in the same article. As a first approximation, the
vampire is more unfettered capitalist than the zombie, and the zombie is more socialist
collective than the vampire. While the latter interpretation may be unorthodox, concerns
about the grabby, conforming masses who threaten freedom are very real, commonplace,
and serviced by cinematic zombies. Perhaps vampires and zombies have endured in literature
and cinema as long as they have because they stoke social anxieties that are politically
incommensurate.
I use Cresswellâ??s (2011) term â??â??critical geosophyâ??â?? in my title because a psychotopological
reading of Anne Riceâ??s Vampire Chronicles and George Romeroâ??s Living Dead movies can
tell us something about how the narration of space is potentially transformative of power.
â??â??A â??critical geosophyâ?? would be an account of geographical ideas and the roles that they play
in the production, reproduction and transformation of powerâ??â?? (Cresswell, 2011: 75).
Furthermore, a psychotopological reading can promote what Kristeva (2002) calls an
intimate revolt. Her point is that revolt is not only a matter of outward action, but is also
a matter of â??â??psychical life and its social manifestations (writing, thought, art)â??â?? (Kristeva,
2002: 11). A critically geosophical approach to these manifestationsâ??in the form of
vampires and zombiesâ??can help accomplish these goals by unseating meaning and aï¬?ect
from individuals to the circulation of externally intimate (â??â??extimateâ??â??) objects. Secor (2013:
436) advocates the power of a psychoanalytic approach to topology to figure the subject
within its lived space as â??â??untapped potential of topology in geography.â??â??
Hence psychotopology is the most useful theoretical framework for tracing the modalities
of space and power discussed above. Topology can take any number of forms depending on
how it is used analytically; it is at once â??â??a metaphor, a heuristic device, an analytical
approach, a figure and an ontological relationshipâ??â?? (Martin and Secor, 2014: 421).
I borrow the term psychotopology itself from Blum and Secor (2011). I theorize it more
fully in the next section, but in short I mean it to connect the psychoanalysis of subject
formation to the realities of political economy, and in that sense it di�ers from Deleuzian or
post-Actor Network Theory (post-ANT) varieties of topology. Thus I initially couch my
theorization within ZÌ?izÌ?ekâ??s (2006, 2011) insistence on dialectical materialism (as opposed to
materialist dialectics). Whereas ZÌ?izÌ?ekâ??s work in this regard is limited to the psyche, Ahmedâ??s
(2005, 2010) theory of a�ective economies spatializes the psychic attachment to the external
(hence connecting â??â??topologyâ??â?? to â??â??psychoâ??â??). Fear, for instance, â??â??establishes distance
between bodies whose di�erence is read o� of the surface, as a reading which produces
the surfaceâ??â?? (Ahmed, 2005: 63); that is, emotions are not strictly psychic but are also
based on the circulation of objects of fear. A psychotopological approach moves
psychoanalysis beyond the individual psyche and recognizes desire as circulating within
modes of production, economistic or otherwise (Jameson, 1981; Nast, 2000).
In â??â??Riceâ??s vampiresâ??â?? and â??â??Romeroâ??s zombiesâ??â??, I apply psychotopology to the works of
two of the foremost authors of vampire and zombie fiction in the United States: Anne Rice
and George Romero. Riceâ??s Vampire Chronicles have been widely read, and in the case of the
first book adapted to film. They are also credited as the seminal vampire tale told from the
vampireâ??s perspective, arguably transforming vampire fiction for generations to come. While
there are 11 books in the series, for the sake of brevity and focus my analysis will restricted to
the first twoâ??Interview with the Vampire (1976) and The Vampire Lestat (1985). Film
director George Romeroâ??s work has also played a transformative role in the figuration
536
Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 35(3)
of the zombie in American popular culture. In this article, his first three films in the series,
Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978), and Day of the Dead (1985) will be
considered. Lastly, while films and books are not the same, I believe the topologies they
evince are more fundamental to their form than the particular media used to portray them.
Critically geosophical psychotopology
As Martin and Secor (2014: 421) point out, â??â??topology is not new to the disciplineâ??â?? of
geography. And despite the contention with which it has been incorporated to geography,
neither is psychoanalysis (for example, Nast, 2000; Pile, 1996; Philo and Parr, 2003). This is
why the particular version of topology used matters greatly for analysis; Lacanian
psychoanalysis fits quite well with topologies of subjectivity (â??â??on the question of
structure, Lacan is a topologistâ??â?? (Kingsbury, 2007: 237)), but exists in tension with postANT or Deleuzian varieties that emphasize historicism and immanence. In setting out my
theoretical framework, I take my initial queue from Copjecâ??s (1994: 118) analysis of
historical anxieties over breastfeeding as â??â??the precise equivalent of vampire fiction.â??â?? She
sets this against a (particularly Foucaultian) historicism understood as the â??â??reduction of
society to its indwelling network of relations of power and knowledgeâ??â?? (Copjec, 1994: 6).
Copjec (1994: 6) concedes this historical particularity in the sense that â??â??society never stops
realizing itself,â??â?? but even if its form is specific to cultural conditions, that there is anxiety in
the first place is psychically based. As will be elaborated shortly, subjectivities emerge in
relation to objects defined by Lacan as extimate: â??â??they are in us that which is not usâ??â??
(Copjec, 1994: 128). In other words, extimacy refers to the topological form of the
external and the intimate, which for Lacan takes the shape of a Mobius strip wherein
the inside and outside necessitate each other.2 Far from a duality between the universal
and the particular, â??â??extimacy. . .allows us to understand how subjectivity, society and
space take place through the twists and turns of external intimacyâ??â?? (Kingsbury, 2007:
246). In Copjecâ??s (1994) analysis, the female breast is the external â??â??not usâ??â?? that becomes
subjectively intimate; vampirism is frightening because it represents the drying up of the
breast, or the deprivation of the extimate object.
Before continuing, it is worthwhile to mention how this di�ers from post-ANT or
Deleuzian inspired topologies. Deleuze and Guattariâ??s (1987) development of theories of
multiplicities presumes topologies â??â??that can emerge between what might be summarily called
â??localisedâ?? points that have their own spatio-temporalities. These connections. . .do not rely
on the projection of localized Euclidean metrics from these pointsâ??â?? (Dixon and Jones, 2014:
4). In other words, Deleuzian topologies reject universalities in favor of self-contained
particularities that are not indexed to a Cartesian grid. As another example, Lury et al.
(2012: 5) argue that culture is â??â??increasingly organized in terms of its capacities for change.â??â??
That is, culture itself is topological, and the shifting nature of these topologies creates other
topologies.
The classic concern with these approaches to topology is that they potentially abstract
power away from actual practices (Coleman, 2011) and contexts (Paasi, 2011). Recognizing
that this is less an issue of topology itself than how it is used analytically, Dixon and Jones
(2014) seek to clarify the ontological status of topology through their focus on tactility in the
2011 film Contagion. In their view, a focus on â??â??tactile topologiesâ??â?? can help ground power in
relational theories of space by highlighting what touch does in the context of a topological
form. They describe it as â??â??a form of power and much less. . .a motor of topology,â??â?? in that it
â??â??attends to the way in which space is â??feltâ?? as a meshing and unmeshing of surfacesâ??â?? (Dixon
and Jones, 2014: 4). I think that Dixon and Jonesâ?? invocation of tactile topologies
Schlosser
537
is innovative and useful, but I remain skeptical that it grounds spatial practices. Contagion
itself presents humanâ??virus interactions through mundane, apolitical practices of everyday
lifeâ??see for instance the four screen captures of fomites provided by Dixon and Jones
(2014), that of eating utensils, an escalator hold, a bathroom hand dryer, and Gwyneth
Paltrow. The capitalist-colonial practice of deforestation that displaced the original bat
colony, from which the virus spread to pigs and then humans, appears as incidental. In
contrast, this is not a problem in Knealeâ??s (2006) reading of H.P. Lovecraftâ??s horror fiction.
By focusing on how thresholds between human/non-human, life/death, thing/abstraction,
etc., serve as sites of radical change, Kneale (2006) shows us what thresholds do outside the
textâ??frighten conservatives like Lovecraft by reminding them of the contingency of social
order. Fluri (2013) also e�ectively uses topology to trace the ideological function of filmic
representation, rather than the social topologies the film represents.
To take topologies as emergent from other topologies, as Dixon and Jonesâ??s (2014) focus
on actors and networks tends to do, would be like disconnecting the particular form of
anxiety over breastfeeding from the fact of anxiety itself. One might instead follow Kirsch
and Mitchellâ??s (2004) suggestion that what Actor Network Theory attempts to explain could
be better accessed through Marxâ??s concept of dead labor. In this case, we might look at
capitalist exploitation of bat habitat as that which then subjects living labor to a precarious
relationship with the fomites lodged in its surrounding built environment (dead labor). This
latter point would reï¬?ect Knealeâ??s (2006: 107) argument that â??â??the materialized agency of
those who came before us becomes a troubling ghostly presenceâ??â?? in the form of monster
fiction. His focus on thresholds thus explores a dialectic between the individualized subject
and the conditions of its emergence, which limits its agency, as monsters do.
This dialectic is important to a materially grounded topological reading of monster
fiction. Marx generally took his dialectical method from Hegel, but not necessarily
Hegelâ??s final sublation, at least not in The Grundrisse. For instance, Marx (1971) argues
that a Hegelian understanding of production and consumption as contained within each
other matters only in the abstract, but not within particular, grounded conditions (in which
case one must consider fixed capital, surplus value, etc.). To count on their positive sublation
would be to figure â??â??society as a single subject [which] is moreover a false mode of speculative
reasoningâ??â?? (Marx, 1971: 27). And per Gidwaniâ??s (2008: 858) reading of The Grundrisse,
capitalâ??s encounter with labor in its particular and heterogenous form is a â??â??site of
recurring anxiety and fear.â??â?? Karatani (2005) takes it a step further, famously arguing that
Marxâ??s dialectical method was superficially Hegelian but more truly Kantian, as Capital
exhibits no final, positive sublation of use value and exchange value. Rather, they are
marked by violence, exploitation, and the anxiety of which Gidwani writesâ??and, as
I argue later, the fear induced by monster (particularly zombie) fiction. Another way of
putting it is that between use and exchange value (or the abstract and the particular) is a
parallax gap, or what ZÌ?izÌ?ek (2006: 4) defines as â??â??the confrontation of two closely linked
perspectives between which no neutral common ground is possible.â??â?? At least as he sets it out
in The Parallax View, ZÌ?izÌ?ek (2006) makes this case relative to Badiouâ??s (2005) site ontology,
in which the event (object) confronts the witness (subject) and leads to eternal truths.
ZÌ?izÌ?ek calls this materialist dialectics because the subject and object sublate to form the
Hegelian spirit, in the form of truth. In contrast, and borrowing not from Hegel but from
Kant, ZÌ?izÌ?ek emphasizes dialectical materialism, in which the parallax incommensurability of
subject and object is productive of …
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