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The Invisible Hand in Popular CultureLiberty vs. Authority in American Film and TV$
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Paul A. Cantor

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813140827

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813140827.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2019

Un-American Gothic

Un-American Gothic

The Alien Invasion Narrative and Global Modernity

Chapter:
(p.298) (p.299) 10 Un-American Gothic
Source:
The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture
Author(s):

Paul A. Cantor

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813140827.003.0011

Chapter Ten examines the development of a mode of un-American Gothic in alien invasion narratives on television, including The X-Files, Invasion, The Event, V, Fringe, and Falling Skies. These shows reflect widespread anxieties about the spread of global modernity and the resulting undermining of the traditional American way of life. The porousness of U.S. borders is one of the central sources of fear in these shows, and they feature nightmare images of alien-human hybrids and unnatural forms of reproduction. The aliens in these shows are typically associated with superior technology; they offer to cure diseases and solve other pressing problems, but at a high price--the sacrifice of human freedom to an Orwellian surveillance state. The shows present the nuclear family, the church, and other local institutions as the bulwark against the technocratic forces of globalizing modernity.

Keywords:   Un-American Gothic, The X-Files, Invasion, The Event, V, Fringe, Falling Skies, global modernity, alien-human hybrids

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