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Two Ohio Lawmakers Put Dr. Susan Napier's Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle On the Naughty List

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Lawmakers up in arms about allegedly 'pornographic' book after Kent State assigns it to teen undergrad

Ohio State Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus and Representative Don Jones are calling for Kent State University to not assign adult-oriented material to minors. A parent of a high school student who attends the college was furious to discover "racy" material between the covers of Dr. Susan Napier's Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation. The college stated that parents consented to the reading material.

Rep. Stoltzfus and Rep. Jones referred to the book as "pornographic" and sent a letter to Kent State urging the administration to not assign adult material to underage students and review its policies. Most of Kent State's student body is adults but the college does allow students from 7th to 12th grade to take courses at the campus.

Rep. Stoltzfus told Fox19 News that the administration disagrees with the representatives about the book's contents. The congressman said he intends to purchase copies of the book for his "friends" in the general assembly to review and the results may affect the school's funding.

“We're gonna look through this book, and we're gonna decide if this university is worthy of giving 150 million dollars of taxpayer dollars to it every year,” Rep. Stoltzfus stated.

The book was assigned in Kent State's Freshman Composition course. The college's administration issued a statement explaining how the book is used in a classroom setting.

A section of the composition course, titled College Writing I: Social Issues through Anime, teaches college-level writing through the prism of critical social issues prevalent in this internationally popular art form, such as mental health challenges, stereotypes, violence, and relations between men and women.

The assigned text is related to the subject matter and prepares the class for dialogue about themed issues. Faculty have academic freedom to communicate ideas for discussion and learning to fulfill the course objectives. All students in the College Credit Plus program, as well as their legal guardian, must sign an acknowledgment that materials in a course may include mature adult themes before they enroll in a course.

The underage student chose not to participate in the assignment and received zero credit. Rep. Stoltzfus is advocating that the student instead receive an alternate assignment and that the book be removed from the college's curriculum.

The updated version of Dr. Napier's book was released in 2005 by publisher Palgrave Macmillan. The book is described as an "authoritative source on anime for an exploding market of viewers who want to know more."

Dr. Napier is a Goldthwaite Professor of Rhetoric and Japanese Studies at Massachusetts' Tufts University and a formerly a visiting professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard. She has previously published Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art, When the Machine Stops: Fantasy, Reality, and Terminal Identity in Neon Genesis Evangelion and Serial Experiments Lain, and 'Excuse Me, Who Are You?': Performance, the Gaze, and the Female in the Works of Kon Satoshi.

Thanks to Gilles Poitras for the news tip

Source: Fox19 (Kelly Kennedy)

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