follow-up resources after the lecture “why teaching Maus matters now more than ever” on 9 Nov 2022, Davidson NC

(These materials are for the use of Davidson Learns students in the context of the lecture today. Please follow up with me with any questions. I’ll leave this page up for two weeks, until Nov 23rd as part of my teaching you all about Maus and the book ban today, then I’ll take it down.)

copy of poster announcing the lecture Why Teaching Maus Matters Now More Than Ever

lecture slides from today are here (please do not download; I have pulled some of the archive images)

PEN America on book banning, gag orders, and (related) critical race theory

“America’s Censored Classrooms” by Jeremy C. Young, Ph.D. and Jonathan Friedman, Ph.D, published August 17, 2022. The best report on book banning and censorship.

“Educational Gag Orders”
and here a link to the full list, updated monthly (this makes for very depressing reading)

Notes on Critical Race Theory: An Essay by Gregory Pardlo by Gregory Pardlo published November 8, 2021.

New Yorker story on Moms for Liberty

Williams, Paige. “The Right-Wing Mothers Fuelling the School-Board Wars.” The New Yorker (31 Oct. 2022). (pdf here)

and related, here from 9/11/22 is a brief story about the newly elected Superintendent of Education in South Carolina, “How Education Freedom Played in the Midterms,” by Jessica Winter.

background on Art Spiegelman
two videos

1. Art Spiegelman 

Interview 1991 with Marcia Alvar 

What can a comic book artist tell us about the Holocaust? Upon Reflection host Marcia Alvar speaks with Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the graphic novels “Maus: A Survivor’s Tale” and “Maus II.” In this 1991 video from the University of Washington, Speigelman ruminates about his own parents’ survival in the Holocaust and how he developed a better sense of their generation through story depiction. 

See especially the last five minutes where he talks about the use of Maus in teaching the Holocaust. 

2. Vladek Spiegelman and Art Spiegelman, original tapes, minute and a half excerpt (timestamp 11:33 – 12:51). This link takes you to the place to start  

my little narratology video about narration and reading Maus is here

scholarly readings I referred to today

Budick, Emily Miller. “Forced Confessions: The Case of Art Spiegelman’s Maus.” Prooftexts 21.3 (Fall 2001), 379-398. (pdf here)

Chute, Hillary. “The Shadow of a Past Time’: History and Graphic Representation in Maus.” Twentieth Century Literature 52.2 (2006), 199–230. (pdf here)

Hartman, Saidiya. “Venus in Two Acts.” small axe 26  (June 2008), 1–14. (pdf here)

Hirsch, Marianne.  “Surviving Images: Holocaust Photographs and the Work of Postmemory.” The Yale Journal of Criticism, 14.1 (2001), 5–37. (pdf here)

Hirsch, Marianne. “The Generation of Postmemory.” Poetics Today 29:1 (Spring 2008), 103-128. (pdf here)

Moses, A. Dirk and Michael Rothberg. “A Dialogue on the Ethics and Politics of Transcultural Memory.” In Bond, Lucy, Jessica Rapson, and Astrid Erll, eds. The Transcultural Turn: Interrogating Memory Between and Beyond Borders. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2014. 29-38. (pdf here)

Park, Hye So. “Art Spiegelman’s Maus: A Bibliographic Essay.” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, 29.2 (Winter 2011). 146-164. (pdf here)

Young, James. “The Holocaust as Vicarious Past: Art Spiegelman’s Maus and the Afterimages of History.” Critical Inquiry Vol. 24, No. 3 (Spring, 1998), 666-699. (pdf here)

background and press on the McMinn County, TN book banning

breaking the story all in one day

Justin Kanew in the Tennessee Holler (26 Jan 2022). Kanew did the reporting work.
• tweeted by journalist Judd Legum (571K followers) and his thread on book banning more broadly
• retweeted by comics rockstar Neil Gaimon (3.1M followers)  

[Night of 26-27 2022 Jan, Scott Denham makes his MausCourse and tweets that out. Note that Denham’s twitter account @GerDavidson is now defunct.]

news stories, chronologically

Andrew Jeong, “Holocaust graphic novel ‘Maus’ banned in Tennessee county schools over nudity and profanity,” Washington Post 27 Jan 2022

“Why a school board’s ban on ‘Maus’ may put the book in the hands of more readers” by Rachel Treisman, NPR (31 Jan 2022). [This one picks up Denham’s Maus Course]

“No change to ‘Maus’ ban at McMinn County Schools despite backlash” by Wes Cooper, WATE (ABC affiliate station), Feb 11, 2022, with video of following school board meeting

Democracy Now interview with Art Spiegleman, 2 Feb 2022 

deep dive follow-up stories Feb 9 and 10 and interviews by local media reporter Sam Britten (Tennessee ABC Channel 9) here and here   

Sophie Kasakove, “The Fight Over ‘Maus’ Is Part of a Bigger Cultural Battle in Tennessee” New York Times (March 4, 2022)

“After Maus: Book Bans and Building an Inclusive Nation in Tennessee and Beyond. McMinn County neighbors on the Maus book ban in their community” a conversation from Everywhere Radio moderated by Whitney Kimball Coe, with Maus as the example. 26 May 2022. 42 minutes. Includes a transcript and video. [I think this is a great way to get a good overview of the relationship between the book ban and broader issues of what I call fascism and christian nationalism. -Scott]

Heather Green, “Parent Guide to Maus” — link to pdf here. This got a lot of distribution by Nirvana comics and library folks in Tennessee. (If you use this be sure to credit Heather Green.)

Nirvana Comics, “Project Maus” information, scroll down for the slideshow

    Press release:

Nirvana Comics Project Maus Press Release

This has been an exciting time at Nirvana Comics and we wanted to share this mind blowing journey about Project Maus with you! We never expected this project to be this big, but we strive to make a difference and we’re extremely thankful to everyone who helped make this possible.

Our original goal when we heard the news was to start a loaning program with the few copies of Maus we originally ordered. Then the big bang! That’s literally what it felt like! People were calling the shop and messaging us asking how they could help, so we had to switch gears. We started a GoFundMe and y’all showed up! Yes you! We made our goal and then some. We were able to use the donations to go even further. We were able to expand our radius to offer a free copy of Maus to any student who requests it. We had parents and students from all over request a copy of Maus for their kids, students, nieces, nephews, etc… We have officially sent a copy of Maus to all students that were on our reserve list. We also were able to receive a few extra copies to ship to students on our overflow list after Free Comic Book Day (May 7th).

This has been a blessing for us, but this has also been very challenging as a small business. We’re a brick and mortar store and most of our traffic is walk-ins. We also ship throughout the week. Shipping more than a 1000 copies of Maus is about five months worth of shipping for us and we got it done in about 2/2 ½ months. We are extremely proud of our team and volunteers who helped us ship copies of Maus around the world. Shout out to Scruffy City Sisters of Knoxville!

All funds donated have helped us with operation costs and shipping/supplies. With all remaining funds we’re continuing our mission of childhood education by starting graphic novel libraries and donating to local Knoxville nonprofits with our same vision. We will continue to post updates on our website and social media platforms.

Nirvana Comics gofundme to distribute a free copy of The Complete Maus to any student anywhere who asks

$109,988 raised, 3.4K donations; updates from the gofundme page:

Nirvana Comics Knoxville Project: Maus

  • July 11, 2022 by Nirvana Comics Knoxville, Organizer
    We’ve posted updates each month about our Project Maus Journey on our social media pages. Now you can view it on our website! Thank you again to everyone who donated and helped make this project possible!

    Check out our Project Maus page on our website:
  • February 1, 2022 by Nirvana Comics Knoxville, Organizer
    No words can describe how thankful we are for everyone’s support. We are so excited to be able to provide a free copy of Maus to any student that asks. We’re still making our way through emails, social media messages, and website messages. We will respond as soon as we can!

    We’re also excited to announce that not only we will be able to provide a free copy of Maus, we will also include a parent teaching guide! One of our Tennessee based teachers was able to put together this guide to help parents talk about each chapter with their kids. A shout out to Heather Greene for making this available for parents!

    We hope to have more updates soon! Thank you for your patience
  • January 29, 2022 by Nirvana Comics Knoxville, Organizer
    Attention Everyone!!!

    You rock! Do that celebration dance you do when no one is looking That’s right and do it some more!!!

    You’ve helped provide copies not only to local students but to students around the US. All extra funds will be donated to local/state organizations that will help support these untold stores!

    We thought this would be a local support to help a magnificent piece of literature stay in the hands of students in the McMinn county. But… this has become a global priority!

    We are eternally grateful to all the amazing supporters and to the media for helping get the message out there! Stay tuned for more exciting things!

    Thank you!

    Nirvana Comics Team