If you could see my face right now, you would know I am in shock. I am shocked
an English major could be so...picky (because we are in polite company).
Courtesy of amazon.com
Tara Shultz, an English and ASL double major at Crafton Hills College, did a double take
after she opened the graphic novels outlined on her English 250 syllabus. The books included Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, Vol 2: The Doll's House
, Alison Bechdel's Fun Home
, Brian Vaughan's Y: The Last Man
, and Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis.
Courtesy of neilgaiman.com
"I didn’t expect to open the book and see that graphic material within," Shultz said. "I expected Batman and Robin, not pornography."
Now, I have not read all of these books, but I have read Fun Home
. Yes, it does touch on some sexual topics, but nothing we should be surprised by in this day and age.
Courtesy of publishersweekly.com
Needless to say, the graphic novels in question are widely popular, and have received high acclaim. They've even won awards for their original publications (Gaiman and Vaughn have each won several Esners) and newer stage and film adaptations (Bechdel's stage play was nominated for five 2015 Tony Awards and Satrapi's animated memoir won an Oscar).
Courtesy of amazon.com
Shultz organized a protest against the books with her parents and some school friends, claiming the professor, Ryan Bartlett, should have warned them about the novels' contents.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that's what the syllabus was for.
"At most I would like the books eradicated from the system," Shultz said. "I don’t want them taught anymore. I don’t want anyone else to have to read this garbage."
If by garbage you mean texts with relevance to what is currently happening in the lives and minds of our society.
Bartlett says no one has ever shown concern over his course material before. He chose these texts on purpose, "not because they are purportedly racy but because each speaks to the struggles of the human condition. The course in question has also been supported by the faculty, administration and approved by the board."
But apparently being backed by the board is not enough. Shultz's father said, "If they [had] put a disclaimer on this, we wouldn't have taken the course."
In light of their actions, the school has agreed to provide warnings for their course books in future classes.
And yet, despite her reactions over the books, Shultz is still enrolled in the class. Color me confuzed.