With a focus on I Am Legend and Day of the Dead—two series of film remakes of popular science fiction stories—this book addresses the social origins of the recent surge in authoritarian and populist social movements. Exploring the ways in which the themes of tribalism, confidence in medical science, and confidence in military violence changed over the years in the process of re-telling these stories in popular culture, the author identifies the shift towards a narrowing of moral scope, an embrace of military violence and a distrust of medical science with three elements of authoritarian populism: tribalism, distrust of rational elites and their institutions, and willingness for violent coercion. An engaging study of popular culture that sheds light on contemporary political attitudes, Pandemics, Authoritarian Populism, and Science Fiction will appeal to scholars of sociology, social theory, and cultural studies with interests in critical theory, film studies, and science fiction.

Introduction  PART 1  1. Politics and pandemics intertwined  2. Science, medicine, and society from the “Golden Ages” to 2020  3. Diseased Others films  PART 2  4. Case study I: I Am Legend  5. Case study II: Day of the Dead  Conclusion