Landing : Athabascau University

Fall 2018 MA course on vampires and zombies in literature: The Walking Undead


In the upcoming Fall 2018 semester, AU's MA program will offer a seminar on vampires and zombies in literary history. The course will be team-taught by me and my colleague Dr Dana Gliserman-Kopans at Empire State College (ESC). The course is open to students in AU's MA in Integrated Studies program and to ESC students.

Athabasca University announced the course in a recent press release, and E-Learning Inside News has reported on the course (see "Online course will mark Frankenstein's 200th anniversary").

As AU's release says (which I'll quote at length since I helped draft it):

This course takes an historical, transnational, and transcultural survey of vampire and zombie literature from Britain, the USA, and Canada: from the 18th-century Gothic foundations of this body of work; through Victorian and early modern horror classics; to contemporary fiction by Indigenous and diasporic writers. The Walking Undead focuses on literary texts but — given the rampant popularity today of zombie and vampire characters and stories — the course also allows students to pursue research on the hordes of audio-visual texts in these genres that are available via streaming media services like Netflix, Youtube, and elsewhere on the public Internet.

Along the way, students will pay close attention both to how such writings are constructed and adapted; and they will critically interpret, discuss, and reflect on the cultural work that these monstrous figures, scenes, and stories do. Students will discuss and write about assigned texts and related literary and cultural criticism; course work culminates in independent research, which can take either critical or creative form, subject to the professors’ approval. Students will also be welcome to attend or remotely tune in to AU’s symposium as part of the global Frankenreads event to be held on October 31st, 2018.

For current MA-IS students to enroll in this course (MAIS 752: Special Topics Seminar, Fall 2018), they must have previously completed any one of the following: MAIS 601, 602, 606, 625, 665; any LTST (or MA-level ENGL) course. For prospective MA-IS students to enroll, they must have previously completed ENGL 395 or any equivalent 6 credits of 300- or 400-level English literature courses (which may include up to 3 credits, or one course, in creative writing). For ESC students, prerequisites will be determined by Dr. Gliserman-Kopans.

For more information about the course or to register, AU students are welcome to contact Dr. McCutcheon at and ESC students are welcome to contact Dr. Gliserman-Kopans at

Postscript: AU students have long been interested in the zombie pop-culture phenomenon. One student started an AU Zombie Research Group here in the Landing, a group we may well revisit when our course lurches forth this fall.



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