The productive use of zombies in a law school curriculum is not limited to hypothetical scenarios and posing "what if' questions. The content of an interdisciplinary law and literature course could be expanded to include consideration of texts that reference zombies. While serious, canonical works such as Dickens's Bleak House, Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder, and Kafka's The Trial constitute examples of literature and film that merit serious study in a course in law and literature, I will assert that lesser texts should also be included, both as a way to highlight why Martin Scorsese outshines George Romero (even if one prefers repeat viewings of Romero) and to permit students to engage with less challenging works that still contain significant "teaching moments" about the law. The willingness to include lesser works of popular culture in a law and literature course alongside the greats, like Dickens and Kafka, underscores the fact that the primary thrust of a law and literature course taught to law students should be the law. Texts should be selected by law professors not for aesthetic achievements or historical importance, but for a text's suitability in positing the study of law within a fictional narrative. Law should not be incidental to the study of literature; literature should serve the study of law. Recent scholarship under the rubrics of "law and popular culture" or "law and culture" supports this assertion. In some ways, the law and culture movement is an outgrowth of law and literature; in others, law and culture is its antithesis. First, however, to lay the groundwork for illustrations of a law and literature approach to zombie texts, an outline of the zombie mythos (for those unfamiliar with the great films of George Romero) and a brief summary of law and literature methodologies is in order.
Simmons, Thomas E.
"What Zombies Can Teach Law Students: Popular Text Inclusion in Law and Literature,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 66:
3, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol66/iss3/6