Overview: Recently a Twitter thread by Gwen C. Katz, later elaborated in a Teen

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Mar 15, 2023


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Overview: Recently a Twitter thread by Gwen C. Katz, later elaborated in a Teen Vogue oped
by Katz and A.R. Vishny described the frightening trend of “pajamification” of the Holocaust
and other mass atrocities. The term “pajamification” evokes John Boyne’s popular 2006
novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas in which a German child befriends a child through a
fence in a concentration camp. Because it is told through the eyes of the “bewildered” and
therefore non-complicit German child, this narrative stance grants the reader a privileged
and ultimately morally redemptive depiction of a mass atrocity which flattens out
embodied violence and erases the systemic intent behind social and political power
dynamics that cultivate acts of mass violence and genoocide. According to Katz and Vishny,
many fictional stories describing state violence deliberately directed toward marginalized
populations are often subjected to this same “pajamification,” and are simultaneously and
perhaps not coincidentally popular teaching resources in schools for topics around
America’s racial history. Like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, these books are often the
primary texts schoolchildren are exposed to on these topics, which in focusing on the
heroism and empathy of observers instead of victims, paints “a picture of history that is
safe and reassuring is presented to students and prevents them from experiencing any
uncomfortable feelings about these events and, especially for white students, the roles their
ancestors played
Goal: Your job is to persuade a school board why it is wrong to ban Maus by explaining the
important work the book does to bring the realities of the Holocaust to readers in ways that
are truthful. Rather than “pajamifying” and thereby making an abstract and comfortably
digestible narrative, you as the producer of this presentation need to explain that Maus
allows readers to understand the actual events leading to and taking place during The
Holocaust by exploring lived experiences told via the medium of a graphic novel.
You will look at two separate images, or sequences of images, and explore how the tools
and strategies of graphic art make readers better able to understand Maus’s intended
For each of those images, you will offer an explanation of the strategies of graphic art you
see present, and how they work together to highlight an important lived experience that is
necessary for a reader of the book to understand

I wasn′t sure if it was a Capstone project or just a PowerPoint. Please let me know if there is anything I′m missing


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