Zombie studies gain ground on college campuses

Some find the trend ominous. There is a “danger” when scholars probe subjects like zombies, says Mark Bauerlein, an English professor and author of “The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future.”

“They end up invariably turning their attention away from the tradition,” he says, “the classics, the works that have survived the test of time.”

Michael Poliakoff, who directs policy for the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, says the proliferation of undergraduate courses in topics like zombies and vampires is helping ruin American students’ brains. Citing various studies, Mr. Poliakoff says many U.S. college graduates still lack proficiency in basic verbal literacy.

“What have we given up in order to dabble in the undead?” he says. “We’ve given up survival skills.”