Todd Platts

Visiting Assistant Professor

Research Interests
Most of Dr. Platts’s research centers on the industrial dimensions of cultural production with a special focus on zombies. Recent publications have examined the origin and institutional development of zombie cinema in the 1930s and 1940s, the interorganizational rationale behind AMC’s decision to greenlight, produce, and broadcast The Walking Dead (2010-present), and the broader sociological purchase of studying zombie social phenomena. Among other projects, current research explores the industrial underpinnings behind the (re)emergence of zombie cinema as well as the formulation of a methodological intervention for the sociological study of film. Other research has explored the affinities between scholarship on the sociology of race and cognitive sociology. Related to this research, Dr. Platts is currently translating his techniques on reducing stereotype threats in the classroom into an article on the subject.    

Dissertation
Producing the American Zombie Film: A Sociological Understanding of the Genesis and Evolution of a Genre

Selected Publications
Platts, Todd K. Forthcoming. “The New Horror Movie.” In Baby Boomers and Popular Culture:An Inquiry into America's Most Powerful Generation, edited by Brian Cogan and Thom Gencarelli. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio.

Platts, Todd K. 2014.  “The Walking Dead.” Pp. 294-297 In The Zombie Film: From White Zombie to World War Z, edited by James Ursini and Alain Silver. New York: Applause Theater and Cinema Books.

Platts, Todd K. 2014. “The Undead of Hollywood and Poverty Row: The Influence of Studio Era Industrial Patterns on Zombie Film Production, 1932 to 1946.” Pp. 31-44 in Merchants of Menace: The Business of Horror Cinema, edited by Richard Nowell. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.

Platts, Todd K. 2013. “Locating Zombies in the Sociology of Popular Culture.” Sociology Compass 7(7): 547-560. 

Brekhus, Wayne, David Brunsma, Todd Platts, and Priya Dua. 2010. “On the Contributions of Cognitive Sociology to the Sociological Study of Race.” Sociology Compass 4(1): 61-76.

Courses Taught
SOC 101: Understanding Society
SOC 214: The Family