The Boarding House

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Date: 2003

Region: North America

Subject: Explicit Sexuality Language

Medium: Literature


Artist: Professor of English language and literature at Macomb Community College in Macomb County Michigan, John Bonnell.

Confronting Bodies: Macomb Community College Administration

Dates of Action: Bonnell's suspension lasted fom June 16, 2003 until August 16, 2003 for his classroom interpretation of James Joyce's The Boarding House. Bonnell had been in dispute with MCC over his use of language in the classroom several times since 1998.

Location: Macomb Community College, Macomb County, Michigan.

BoardingHouse.jpg

Description of Artwork: A passage from The Boarding House reads, "She knew he had a good screw for one thing and she suspected he had a bit of stuff put by."

The Incident: John Bonnell assigned The Boarding House to students in his MCC english class. The school's administration suspended Bonnell in response to a student's complaint about the Bonnell's interpretation of a passage in the story as relating to the sexual relationship between a man and woman in the story. Bonnell has been suspended several times by the school for similar reasons, relating to the professor's language in the classroom.

Results of Incident: Bonnell was suspended for 3 months without pay.

Source: Clickondetroit.com American Library Association Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom