Date of Graduation


Document Type

UAF Access Only - Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (MA)

Degree Level





M. Keith Booker

Committee Member

Sean Dempsey

Second Committee Member

Lissett Szwydky-Davis


Humanity has become increasingly aware of the Anthropocene and the impact of a worldview based on prioritizing human progress above all else. We’ve always used stories to navigate and negotiate the world in which we live. We have also continually developed new and different ways of telling those stories. I argue that the multiverse created by The Walking Dead is a platform upon which to assay a humanity post-anthropocentrism; the utopian energies (possibilities for improvement, positive potential) wrought from this study provide potentially powerful and actual physical material effects (actions that are cataloged and verifiable) in consumers of The Walking Dead. The multiverse (myriad adaptations that create a transmedia franchise) promotes a practice of accepting a more complex, more uncertain worldview, even before we begin to delve into the moral and ethical questions posed by the content of each iteration or adaptation. If the major premise of our worldview involves the centrality of humans and human progress, then the multiverse first upends this notion in order to dismantle infrastructure, political systems, civilization, and other things that reinforce human centrality. The method of that deconstruction is meaningful as well because, due to the overwhelming pervasiveness of humans, the structures of anthropocentrism are quickly dismantled by humans turning to “walkers.” Our own prevalence comes back to bite us sometimes literally.