Students & Parents | General Education

Feed Your Brain with Brains: Six Real Zombie College Classes

WALL STREET JOURNAL   |  March 4, 2014 by Erica E. Phillips

In today’s A-Hed, we look at an advancing horde of academics studying zombies in disciplines ranging from religion to economics and medicine. And as the body of scholarship grows, so too have the opportunities to study it.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni compiled this list of recent and upcoming offerings at schools around the country, including some of the nation’s top universities. Dig in!

The University of Pennsylvania, A Zombie’s History of Medicine and Technology

According to the syllabus, this summer course in the Health and Societies major “surveys the history of western medical knowledge and practice … with a particular focus on the technologies that have been used to manage bodies.”

George Mason University, Anthropology 314Zombies

This course, which “explores how human beings across cultures have historically expressed social anxieties through references to the one particular manifestation of the undead,” fulfills a requirement in “non-Western culture.”

Columbia College Chicago, Zombies in Popular Media

In this media studies class, students will use “critical theory and source media (literature, comics, and films) to spur discussion and exploration of the figure’s many incarnations.”

Peru State College, Film Studies: Zombie Renaissance in Film, Literature and Culture. The syllabus lists several films and texts students will be consuming, and includes this quote from “World War Z” author, Max Brooks: ““Often, a school is your best bet-perhaps not for education but certainly for protection from an undead attack.”

University of Texas at Tyler, Zombie Outbreak: Biology of Disease. In Biology 1320, non-science majors will examine questions such as, “Is it possible to reanimate dead tissue? How do we know if it is an outbreak? Are they mutants? Are they toxic? Are they contagious? How can we stop the outbreak?”

And last but not least, at Harvard University: Zombies, Monsters and Super Heroes: The Fantastic in 20th Century America. This undergraduate literature and history class “will consider how the fantastic variously reinforces, unsettles, and re-imagines the terms of what it means to be a ‘normal’ and ‘real’ American over the course of the twentieth century.


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