Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

July 30, 2013

CBLDF: South Carolina Values Group Criticizes Fun Home

imageSomething called the Palmetto Family Council has launched an attack against the book Fun Home being selected as the class book for incoming freshmen at the College Of Charleston. As the article by Betsy Gomez explains, the use of Fun Home in this way is a fairly common practice at a lot of schools: pick a book that the incoming freshman might all read in order to have a shared experience to discuss upon their arrival. It's a way of reinforcing that schools have an intellectual public life in addition to the standard classroom/social schism. As I recall, comics like Alison Bechdel's award-winning memoir have played this role before at other schools, usually without incident. I would imagine that picking a graphic novel of obvious literary value is a way to offer the students something distinctive for that particular experience, but I can't be sure on that one and it likely differs school to school and year to year.

The attack on the book is ludicrous and without merit, and that's even before you get to the notion that suggesting people read a book and engage its ideas is something a school somehow shouldn't be doing every damned minute of every damned day. My primary impression isn't so much that this is a reminder of some undercurrent of anti-comics prejudice but a sign that anyone that comes at comics like this one in this way with those arguments in these times is likely to look like a dumbass.
posted 1:31 am PST | Permalink

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