The University of Baltimore is offering students a new class to die for.
Students in English 333 ’ "Media Genres: Zombies" ’ will watch 16 zombie film classics, read zombie comic books, and write a screenplay or draw storyboards for their ideal zombie movies as final projects, according to The Baltimore Sun.
"We're looking at how the character of the zombie changes and evolves over the years and how it reflects our culture," the course's instructor, visiting professor Arnold Blumberg, told The Washington Post.
"On the most basic level, zombies are probably one of the most potent horror icons, one of the closest to us in terms of identification factor, in terms of reflecting ourselves," added Blumberg, co-author of Zombiemania: 80 Movies to Die For and curator of Geppi's Entertainment Museum in Baltimore. "The zombie is, simply, us."
In describing the course, the school explains that the zombie has become allegorical for an unthinking, unfeeling way of living and relating to others, and a bellwether of complete social collapse.
The University of Baltimore isn't the first institute of higher learning to tackle the ghoulish subject.
Blumberg said zombies have historically served as an allegory that have permeated American culture over generations.
"It's part of the American mindset," Blumberg said in a release. "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."
Jonathan Shorr, chairman of the university's school of communications design, told The Baltimore Sun that the course will meet a student demand for "interesting, off-the-wall" classes.
"It's a back door into a lot of subjects," he said. "[Students] think they're taking this wacko zombie course, and they are. But on the way, they learn how literature and mass media work, and how they come to reflect our times."