what we’re doing

In response to Spiegelman’s Maus I and Maus II being removed from the schools by McMinn County, Tennessee, school board members, I am offering this free on-line course for any McMinn County eighth-grade or high school students interested in reading these books with me. I have taught Spiegelman’s books many times in my courses on the Holocaust over many years.

The transcript of the McMinn County School Board meeting of 10 January 2022 that launched this project is here. (A backup copy of that transcript is here.) In this meeting members use these terms and phrases to describe their actions: “remove this book from the curriculum”; “to remove the book”; “to remove this particular book from our curriculum”; “to take the book completely out.” Please read the transcript.

Find out about my work as a teacher and scholar here. https://www.scottdenham.net/

This course will be a work in progress. It will not be public, but open only to McMinn County, TN, students who apply.

Eighth-grade students and high school students McMinn County High and Central High who are interested in the course please register here.
Registration is closed.

little updates:
5 Feb 2022: Very pleased that students have registered for the Maus Course. We’ll begin during the week of 14 February. The course will last about four weeks. The students can decide at the end of the course if they would like to present some of their work on these pages or elsewhere.
Please no more media requests. The students and I have work to do!
1 Feb 2022: I anticipate a few guests, including some important scholars and comics artists, and some expert teachers of this text at the secondary level, will be joining in for a class meeting here and there. The details will be in the schedule (accessible to students only).

some press

Josh Moody from Inside Higher Ed on banned books. (archived pdf here)

The wonderful folks at Nirvana Comics in Knoxville have rightly received recognition for their work in fighting back against book banning. See their Project Maus information down their page here. Note also their request for $20K to help purchase and distribute books surpassed $110K in donations before they closed the campaign with gratitude. Job well done.

The ACLU of Tennessee’s Request for Public Records Regarding the Removal of Maus from McMinn County Schools Curriculum from 10 February 2022 is worth a close read.

Story here by Jenny Gross in the New York Times (Jan 27, 2022).

Banned Books round up, “Book Banning Efforts Surged in 2021. These Titles Were the Most Targeted.” NYT By Elizabeth A. Harris and Alexandra Alter (April 4, 2022).