Academy of Art University's short story censorship

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Date: 2003

Region: North America

Subject: Education

Medium: Literature


Artist: Student's name withheld

Confronting Bodies: Academy of Art University in San Francisco administrators

Dates of Action: December 2003-March 2004

Location: San Francisco, California

Description of Artwork: The student's short story featured the account of a young serial killer. It included descriptions of sexual torture, dismemberment and bloodlust.

The Incident: The freshman student's teacher, Jan Richman, brought the controversial story to the writing department administrator, Tom Molanphy, who advised her to discuss the use of violence and "grisly" details in literature and "deal with it however you feel comfortable." When the president and vice-president of the university learned of the story, they contacted the San Francisco Police Department's homocide division. However, no charges could be brought upon the student.

Results of Incident: When Richman, an adjunct professor, inquired about her job status for the Winter 2004 semester, she learned that her position was terminated. No reason for dismissal was given. The university expelled the student and sent him home.

Source: www.sfgate.com