#53 ”Maus” & The McMinn County School Board

About The Episode
Recently, the McMinn County school board in Tennessee decided to ban the classroom use of the graphic novel Maus, which depicts a firsthand account of the Holocaust via anthropomorphic animals. The decision was met with criticism across...


About The Episode

Recently, the McMinn County school board in Tennessee decided to ban the classroom use of the graphic novel Maus, which depicts a firsthand account of the Holocaust via anthropomorphic animals. The decision was met with criticism across the United States and has been the subject of extensive news coverage, as well as social media mentions. It has also led to a surge of the book back to the top of numerous best seller lists and even selling out on Amazon. In this episode of the The Captioned Life Podcast, Sean and Kevin talk with educator Jill Gerber, and the Coalition Coordinator for Banned Books Week at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Betsy Gomez, to discuss the controversy and its impact on teachers, students, parents, and beyond. This is a timely conversation about the relevance of graphic novels as educational literature and the alarming trend of banning non-traditional texts from school libraries and curriculum.

About The Guests

Jill Gerber is an award-winning K-12 educator of twenty years and longtime advocate of graphic literature in the curriculum to reach all learners. In addition to presenting workshops on the integration of comics in the classroom, she cowrites about innovative viewpoints on comics and KidLit in education on the blog, Perceptive Gaze. She teaches at Rowland Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Betsy Gomez is the Banned Books Week Coalition coordinator and former editorial director for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending the First Amendment rights of the comics community. Gomez manages resources, programming, and editorial content for bannedbooksweek.org and advises CBLDF on educational and free expression matters. Gomez is the editor of CBLDF’s book about the women who changed free expression in comics, CBLDF Presents: She Changed Comics. With an extensive background in educational publishing, Gomez has worked as a content developer and editor for several companies, including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Pearson Education, among others. Gomez’s work combines her love of comics with her passion for education and the right to read.

Links

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Show Credits

  • Kevin Stahlecker - Cohost, producer, Gamemaster
  • Sean Winningham - Cohost, producer, media editor 
  • Image used in the show: "Comic Books" by Steven Miller, used under CC BY 2.0 / Desaturated from original.

ABOUT THE SHOW

A show for the most casual and dedicated fans of comics. Join Sean as he discovers what the world of comics and graphic novels has to offer from one-on-one interviews with industry professionals, round table discussions with passionate fans, and reviews on the latest comics, tv shows, and movies. New episodes every week. The Captioned Life is a part of the Comic Watch family.

SHOW CREDITS