Affiliate Faculty Paul Scott Offering Summer Course "Zombies, Aliens, and Monsters"

Ad Astra Center Affiliate Faculty Paul Scott will be teaching what looks to be a very interesting course this summer, entitled "Zombies, Aliens, and Monsters." Designed to answer broadly the question, "why do we enjoy being scared," this course will examine "real and imagined monsters across different cultures."

Course description below. If you are interested in this course, please reach out to Prof. Scott by email at

FREN150 | SUMMER SESSION | 06/07/22 ยท 07/01/22

Why are we fascinated with the macabre, frightening, and supernatural? Why do we like watching or reading about vampires, zombies, serial killers, and predatory aliens? From an early age, we are exposed to the dark and often creepy world of fairy tales. This class will look at some real or imagined monsters across different cultures (France, Namibia, South Korea, UK, USA).

Our overview will include horror, science-fiction, and fantasy and will focus on movies (such as It Follows and Arrival) and TV shows (from selected episodes of The Sopranos and Dexter to Santa Clarita Diet and Squid Game), and graphic novels. We will look at the evolution of zombies from mindless invaders to rational individuals like us. Different theories on the monstrous will be explored to try to explain our obsession with them. Monsters are intimately connected to the political, religious, and cultural context in which they are produced and deal with fundamental notions of identity (race, gender, sexuality).

Monsters, therefore, matter in understanding who we are and what we value.

Taught in English. Fulfills Core Goal 1.1 (Critical Thinking).