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This course takes a critical approach to our contemporary understanding of the figure of the zombie and its inextricable link to discourses on race and blackness in the Americas. An introductory grounding in theories of social death allows an opportunity to explore the racial anxiety that gave birth to the genre and trace its development throughout the hemisphere. The course considers the novels, films, and critical texts that frame the genre in order to pose the following questions: What can the figure of the zombie teach us about our evolving relationship to race? What roles do gender and sexuality play in the construction of the genre? And, finally, how does the recent proliferation of zombie-related television shows, movies, books, and video games reflect our present-day concerns?
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
weekly reading responses, active class participation, three close readings (500 words each), annotated bibliography, class presentation, final paper (13-15 pages)
a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
English majors, then sophomores considering the major
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit: