What started off as a joke between my room mate and I has become an amazing beginning.
“Don’t you think it would be funny to have a zombie course at Waterloo?”
Enter Independent Studies, a faculty so tiny that you could fit it into your hand, but so huge in its potential that you almost wouldn’t want to for fear that your arms would fall off. It is Waterloo’s infamous well-kept secret. I found out about it in at an alternative welcome week event and ever since then I have been dreaming up ways to infiltrate the 17 person faculty. The most attractive feature is creating your own courses. This where the zombies fit in.
After searching, searching, giving up, trying again and giving up for the billionth time, reality finally struck and I was being way too dramatic about not having a full course load for my second term of first semester. After spending the first one exploring a world of eye opening topics, views, learning and relearning a few things, I wasn’t about to take another intro course.
So I went to the Independent Studies office, and I asked meekly, ‘Can I do a zombie course’. And they said yes. And thus began the creation of a course that would formulate an odd internet history and suggested item list on Amazon, but would hopefully provide for a very interesting alternative learning experience.
To make your own course you must follow these steps:
1) Have an idea, create a syllabus
2) Find a faculty member to support you
3) Figure out with the faculty member how you will be graded.
4) Submit your syllabus and get rolling
Below is my Zombie Syllabus. By the beard of Zeus, did it ever take a long time to put together. It is thorough, exciting, and mildly intimidating. It is so long because it was just so hard to pick one media over the other. I mean, someone can’t watch all the zombie books and see every piece of zombie media, right? I would become a zombie myself just from the critical processing. The best part about the independent studies course (besides the zombies) is that I can add, move around and take away from this as I see fit. If I feel like my mind is going to explode come Apocalyptic fiction week, then I can take away some things, just watch or read certain parts, or add one more just for fun. The beauty of it is, it is UP TO ME. However if anyone who reads this blog wants to suggest a piece of zombie culture, I’d love to check it out.
The aims of my course is to look at this Zombie culture thing critically. Some of the questions borderline topics such as the origins of zombies, societal tension and connections between era and zombie film, all the way to possible sexualization of zombie films, why we find the zombie so captivating, and what the zombie means to how we see our own demise, or our society. What I would really like to dissect is the later, and how zombies seriously relate and impact our culture.
The marking system is easy. Each week I will read/watch/consume all the things scheduled for the week. On Thursdays, I will have a meeting with my Faculty advisor, where I will present some findings, debate, discuss, and chat about zombies. After this, I will sit down and grace the internet with a post full of witty cynicism, unwavering positivity and academic findings on this whole concept of Zombie culture. In the end, I will have a “Blook”, chock full of topics that will either make academic history or just earn me an amazing experience and a mark. I can’t see from here. As of now, the below is a formula for learning what I want. Get ready for 4 months of the academic undead.
|Potential Reading list
1) The Undead Philosophy
2) Braaaiiinnnsss! from Academics to Zombies
3) Better off dead: The evolution of the zombie as post-human (Book)
|Jan 7-12||The beginning– The first zombies||Tell my Horse by Zora Hurdson
The Serpent and the Rainbow by Wade Davis
-Race, oppression and the zombie (book)
– Voodoo science vs Wade Davis
-The Race and Religion of Zombies
|White Zombie (1932)I Walked With a zombie (1943)|
|Jan 14-19||The outbreak – Zombie cinema||Gospel of the living dead: Romero’s vision of hell on earth
Our zombies, ourselves: Critical essay
|Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Day of the Dead (1985)
Let Sleeping corpses lie – (1978)
Zombi 2 – (1971)
|Jan 21-26||The end of days – Apocalypse||Book of Revelations
Homo Sapiens Declared Extinct – Short Story
– Usask Apocalyptic imagination
-‘Behold I stand at the door and knock’
– Last Night
– Day After Tomorrow
|Jan 28-2||The Survivor||The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks
Zombie: A record of the year of infection
So now you’re a zombie
|28 days later28 weeks later (possible)|
|Feb 4-9||I Am Legend||I am legend by Richard Matheson||The Last man on earth (1964)
The omega man (1971)
I am legend (2007) + directors cut
|Feb 11-16||The Walking Dead||The Walking Dead Comic||The Walking Dead|
|Feb 18-22||READING WEEK|
|Feb 25-1||The Comedies||Journal article: Vacationing in Zombieland
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (at least chapter 1)
-Shaun of the Dead
|March 4-8||Zombie Academia||-The Nurses’ role in the preventions of Solanum infection.
-A report on the zombie outbreak of 2009: how mathematics can save us (no, really)
Canadian Medical Association Journal
The Zombie Autopsies by Steven Schlozman
|March 11-15||Politics and Zombies||-Theories of International Politics and Zombies by Daniel W. Drezner
Politics and zombies: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Zombies
NIGHT OF THE LIVING WONKS
|– Dod Snow
|March 18-22||A Zombie’s Lament||– I am a Zombie Filled with Love by Isaac Marion
-Breather’s: A Zombie’s Lament by S.G. Browne
|– Warm bodies (released Feb 1st)
|March 25-29||Human nature||– Zombies are us: Essays on the humanity of the walking dead
-World War Z
|April 1-5||Zombies in Society||Documentaries:The Truth behind ZombiesZombies: A living history
-Audio: CBC Zombie Culture
-Plants Vs. Zombies
-Resident Evil/Left 4 Dead
-Steven Schlozman videos and articles
|April 8th||Final Project (Blook) Due|