SC Legislature to cut funding to college for assigning Alison Bechdel graphic novel

The College of Charleston stands to lose about $52,000 in state funding because lawmakers dislike that the college is assigning Alison Bechdel award winning graphic novel and memoir Fun Home to incoming freshmen. Alison’s book delves topics such as sexual orientation, gender roles, suicide and dysfunctional family life.

From the LA Times:

South Carolina’s the State newspaper writes, “State Rep. Garry Smith, a Greenville Republican who sits on the House?s higher education budget committee that approved the cuts, pushed punishing the College of Charleston and USC Upstate for their book choices.”

Smith told the paper, ?One of the things I learned over the years is that if you want to make a point, you have to make it hurt.? He continued, ?I understand academic freedom, but this is not academic freedom …. This was about promoting one side with no academic debate involved.?

According to the LA Times, the college isn’t backing down. Alison has released a statement lauding the school for their courage.

I made a visit to the school last fall for which they also took some flak, but to their great credit they didn’t back down. It’s sad and absurd that the College of Charleston is facing a funding cut for teaching my book — a book which is after all about the toll that this sort of small-mindedness takes on people’s lives.

The funding cuts will go to the full house on March 11 for debate.