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University of Georgia course on The Zombie Plague

August 28, 2012

University of Georgia has a freshman course called “The Zombie Plague” taught by a veterinary microbiology professor as part of the First Year Odyssey program. The course description:

The Zombie Plague (Call Number: 07690)
Thursday, 03:30 PM-04:45 PM, Miller Learning Center (0081), Room 0277

In 1969, George A. Romero introduced filmgoers to a plague that reanimated the dead and turned the infected into flesh eating ghouls. The zombie genre has grown in recent years with a successful TV series, “The Walking Dead,” literature, and parodies like “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” The CDC has recognized the popularity of zombies in pop culture to create a public service announcement as to what to do if there is a zombie apocalypse. This course will tackle the infectious disease aspect of the zombie transformation and discuss parallel diseases, principles behind infectious diseases, and real pandemic plagues. Mostly, we’ll use “zombies” as the basis for fun discussions of infectious diseases, infectious agents, and other related topics (e.g., biowarfare).

The course is taught by Professor John J. Maurer. His profile at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine lists his research interests:

Microbial interactions involved in colonization of food animals by foodborne pathogens and the interplay required for gene transfer of resistance or virulence genes from the microflora to pathogens in the animal host.

zombie john maurer

The UGA First Year Odyssey program is:

designed to introduce [first year UGA students] to the academic life of the University. These seminars will allow [first year UGA students] to engage with faculty and other first-year students in a small class environment to learn about the unique academic culture the University offers. Faculty will share their passion for research, teaching and service

Sounds fun. Must be nice to be a first year undergraduate student again (2016!). I would encourage those students to take a course taught by a professor who does research in an actual field they find interesting and not focus too much on the title of the course. If you really like zombies and want to study them I would probably suggest finding a freshman course with a cultural studies professor. But really, what zombie fan doesn’t love a career in microbial pathogens.

I discovered this course from the writeup in UGA student newspaper, The Red and Black: “Zombies teach students about infectious diseases” by Maria Torres. The article quotes Professor Maurer, notes that this is his second semester teaching the course, and quotes from a prior student mentioning “Nazi Zombies”.

From → Academics, nazi

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