What Zombies Can Teach Law Students

Professor Tom Simmons at the University of South Dakota just published a great law review article titled What Zombies Can Teach Law Students: Popular Text Inclusion in Law and Literature, 66 Mercer L. Rev. 729 (2015).  Drawing on popular works such as The Walking Dead and World War Z, Simmons shows how many legal issues can be illustrated and explained in the classroom using examples that are more interesting than the abstract “A sues B” type and more engaging than examples from more “serious” literature.

I applaud Prof. Simmons’s work, which follows and greatly expands upon some of my work in this area as well as the work of Prof. Adam Chodorow at ASU and the work of Lawrence M. Friedman at John Marshall.  Anyone interested in zombie fiction or novel legal teaching methods should give the article a read.

One response to “What Zombies Can Teach Law Students

  1. After reading a substantial part of this, I began to wonder if certain plant-human(oid?)-hybrids (such as Poison Ivy and Swamp Thing) would count as humans or non-beings, especially since these seem to have died in the process. IF they would not count as humans (anymore) but non-people, does law which speaks about humans all the time actually have any power to detain them? There is no law that demands plants to follow the law, neither does the Constitution grant them any rights. Or do the sapient and sentient plant-humanoids have enough ‘human’ in them to have them need to ollow the law of a species they no longer are part of and are not/no longer genetically compatible with?

    On a similar account, the above problem of ‘is a plant-human a human’ brought up another question for me: Would human law (jut because it speaksof humans all the time) at all target non-human aliens such as Kryptonians, Skrull or Kree, even those hava a humanoid body structure and are shown to be not only sentient and sapient but also genetically compatible?

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