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A closer look at the ban on “Maus”

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(Photo by Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Pages from the Art Spiegelman book.

A Tennessee school board voted Jan. 10 to ban the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Maus,” a graphic novel detailing the deeply personal tale of author Art Spiegelman‘s Jewish parents and their struggles during and after the Holocaust. Hillary Chute, distinguished professor of English, art, and design at Northeastern, wrote her doctoral thesis on “Maus,” and worked closely with Spiegelman on a follow-up book, “MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic.”

Chute has since written her own book reflecting on the classic’s lessons for this time in history called, “Maus Now,” which will be published in the fall of 2022. The McMinn County, Tenn., school board cited profanity and nudity as the reasons why “Maus” was removed from the eighth-th grade curriculum. New@Northeastern spoke to Chute about the ban and the ongoing lessons of “Maus.” Her comments were edited for brevity and clarity.

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