The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

University of Houston-Victoria Astonishingly Decides to Dedicate Entire YEAR to ‘World War Z’

Notice: The following post contains details from Max Brooks’ hyperviolent, amoral and sadistic Living Supremacist Magnum Opus ‘World War Z’ to help illustrate the incredible impropriety of using it as the base of a year of introductory academic instruction. Proceed with caution.

I’m shocked and appalled by this outrageous misuse and abuse of developing young minds looking for an education:

The First Year Experience Committee is excited to welcome you to our Community of Readers program!

As a way to introduce you to the UHV learning community, you will receive a copy of the book World War Z as our gift to you. Your university faculty, staff and members of the Victoria community will be reading this book as well. Together we will join in a year-long series of activities and events to connect with each other as fellow readers and learners and to explore the themes of the book. This will be your opportunity to join our academic community as a fellow explorer of ideas.

Explorer of ideas? You mean, the prejudicial, inflammatory and flagrantly offensive stereotypes of the Differently Animated that permeate the entirety of ‘World War Z’? Or do you mean the openly Zombicidal ‘South Africa Plan’ that Brooks proposes, fleshes out and then openly advocates as a grisly sort of Final Solution for the Zombie ‘Problem’?

That sort of ideas?

I take it that the University of Houston-Victoria has no use for, or welcome ready for, today’s hardworking Zombie Student. No, Zombie in search of higher learning, UHV has no place for you, nor your tuition dollars.

The purpose of this exercise in Living Supremacist indoctrination is, supposedly, to help integrate incoming freshman class members into the ‘community’ at the University. Their alleged mission (beyond spreading hate) and selection criteria that led them to promoting ‘World War Z’ are fascinating examples of the end result of blindness to the plight of the modern Zombie Citizen:


The Community of Readers program is designed to promote a shared intellectual experience between first year students and the larger community by offering a common reading that provides cross-disciplinary perspectives, is relevant to our region, and compelling in its storytelling. With the goals of promoting dialogue, critical thinking and intellectual curiosity, the Community of Readers program enhances the Jaguar Spirit and UHV Community.
Book Selection Rationale

After much deliberation and consideration, the committee adopted “World War Z” by Max Brooks for the 2011-2012 academic year. This book was selected for many reasons: (1) it offers a compelling vision of the aftermath of a global pandemic, featuring personal, community and governmental responses of ingenuity, determination and hope; (2) it includes cross-disciplinary perspectives of historical, scientific and social significance, enhancing learning across the curriculum; and (3) the nature of the story provides numerous opportunities for associated activities, films, and speakers to augment the experience of the book.

‘Ingenuity, determination and hope’? Excuse me, but the ‘hope’ presented by Mr. Brooks is a grim, cynical polemic against the Living population for its short-sightedness and greed, and the Zombie population for.. existing. The eventual, and according to UHV, somehow hopeful resolution to the Zombie War in Brooks’ novel is an unspeakably horrifying campaign of hand-to-hand violence where the Differently Animated are slaughtered with sharpened shovels and special incendiary rounds, amongst other barbarities.

That is, after the governments of the world draw upon an Apartheid-era strategem from South Africa to sacrifice their own citizens, using them as bait (rather than seeking a peaceful and negotiated armistice with the Zombies).

I am legitimately shocked. ‘World War Z’ is simply a candy-coated argument for mass murder based on one’s medical history and background. How, precisely, is it going to help bring a community of students together? As an angry mob?

Oh, but apparently there will be ‘activities’ as well:

We are planning a number of exciting activities to celebrate the book and to learn more about its themes. We will have film and video presentations, guest speakers on the science and history related to the story and other zombie-related events! The book will also be integrated into your First Year Seminar course.

Science and history relating to the story? You mean, like the history of genocide? The construction of terror weapons? How to organize a rag-tag army equipped with sharp implements to spread mayhem and death?

Please tell me none of these activities involves ‘practical’ exercises.

The Zombie Rights Campaign condemns this program and its celebration of madness and intolerance in the strongest possible terms. We do not claim that there is no academic value to be had in studying the work of Max Brooks, as there is in studying the diatribes and manifestos of many of history’s greatest literary madmen, but the University of Houston-Victoria takes things way too far in this case.

We call upon the University to reconsider their stance on Undead Rights. As it is already into the 2011 Academic Year, we recognize that it may not be possible to actually recall the books and completely revamp the curriculum. As odious as this situation is, the books are likely already in the hands of impressionable readers. The damage is already being done.

Instead, the University should take all available measures to ameliorate the harm it has done with its shortsighted and insensitive selection. Present Zombie Friendly alternatives to the mayhem of Mr. Brooks, some truly varied positions and viewpoints, including representation from the larger Zombie Rights Movement. Perhaps show the students evidence of the many charitable activities of the Differently Animated and Zombie Allies, from Zombie Walks to silent auctions and fundraising drives. It would also be of great benefit if students examined the peaceful and meaningful participation of the Differently Animated in their communities, civic life/Unlife and even politics.

Above all, do not allow the narrowminded bigotry that drips from the pages of ‘World War Z’ to go unanswered. Please. You can do no less for future generations, whether Zombie or Living.

About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.


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