University of Baltimore Course Wakes Up Students with the Undead

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Dr. Arnold Blumberg plans to teach a course about zombies to fill an advanced English credit.

Zombies have the notorious reputation for swallowing brains whole—not filling them with knowledge and stuff. But Blumberg, co-author of zombie cinema guide Zombiemania, had the idea for the course soon after the university got the green light on offering a pop culture minor.

The class, running this fall semester, includes movies in its curriculum ranging from the classic White Zombie to the contemporary Zombieland. The reading list includes literature like the novel World War Z and the comic book The Walking Dead.

Blumberg said a lot of zombie fans may not have previously considered the underlying meaning of the “zombie” image constantly cropping up in all types of media—an underlying meaning he designed his course to explore in depth.

“It’s part of the American mindset,” he says on UB’s website. “The zombie functions as an allegory for all sorts of things that play out in our country, whether it’s the threat of communism during the Cold War or our fears about bioterrorism in 2010. It’s relatively easy to connect the zombie to what is happening in culture.”

Get cultured with the video for the Cranberries’ “Zombie” below and wish you went to UB: