Zombies 101

The Washington Post has a very interesting article about a new course being offered at the University of Baltimore. The course titled Media Genres: Zombies is being taught by Arnold Blumberg who co-wrote the book Zombiemania80 Movies To Die For.

Exploring the undead: University of Baltimore to offer English class on zombies

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Is “Night of the Living Dead” a simple zombie film or a subtle antiwar statement? Precisely when did viral pandemic supplant nuclear radiation as the lead cause of zombification? And which sort of animated dead has the greater potential to frighten: shambler or sprinter?

Those questions and others will be laid to rest — and then gruesomely revivified — in a new 300-level course at the University of Baltimore titled “Media Genres: Zombies.”

Arnold Blumberg, a lifelong enthusiast of popular culture in general and zombie films in particular, is among the first university professors to devote an entire semester to study of the reawakened dead. His course, and recent offerings at Columbia College and Georgia Tech, share a common interest in the zombie movie as expression of zeitgeist.

Zombies have clawed their way to the center of popular culture over the past decade in a series of big-budget mainstream films. There was “28 Days Later,” a 2002 British production that revived the genre with hip London zombies that were supremely athletic if not, strictly speaking, dead. And “Dawn of the Dead,” a 2004 remake of a George A. Romero classic. And “Shaun of the Dead,” the definitive satire. And “Zombieland,” the slightly less-definitive satire.

I’ve seen Night of the Living Dead, the original Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later which stars Naomie Harris.

Blumberg is curator of Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, a shrine to popular culture at Baltimore’s Camden Yards. He has degrees from the University of Baltimore and the University of Maryland Baltimore County and co-wrote the book “Zombiemania,” a scholarly interest possibly surpassed only by his love for the venerable British science-fiction series “Dr. Who”. He teaches a UMBC course on the comic book as literature.

“Zombiemania” examines 80 zombie movies “to die for.” The zombie course covers a mere 16 “classic” titles, from the 1932 Bela Lugosi vehicle “White Zombie” through 2009’s “Zombieland,” the highest-grossing zombie film to date.

I haven’t seen Zombieland but I will be adding it to my Netflix queue.

You can read more about the course that’s offered by Mr. Blumberg at the  University of Baltimore website.  This sounds like such a cool course 😉

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