The library system at Georgetown University announced this week that it is banning several books that students have deemed “offensive.”
According to a report by the College Fix, Georgetown University officials have removed hundreds of books from campus libraries after students argued that they were riddled with bigotry.
Student Alexandra Bowman complained to administrators after noticing that a book in one campus library prominently featured a Native American on its cover. Shortly thereafter, Georgetown’s Reynolds and McCarthy libraries were almost cleared out.
“While some were simply raucous crime noir murder mysteries representative of the literary and cultural time in which they were written, other books included extremely problematic and damaging elements, including the glamorization of rape, including that of underage girls,” Bowman said in a short comment. “Completely naked women of all races were frequently featured on these books’ covers. Further, many books fetishized young nonwhite women.”
“Upon looking further at the collection of books in the library, we noticed other serialized books, most published in the mid-20th century, with similar pornographic, racially derogatory themes,” Bowman wrote during correspondence with a Georgetown student newspaper. “Ultimately, the removal of the books was what we expected to come as a result of our inquiry.”
The Georgetown Review, an independent student newspaper associated with Georgetown University, also contributed to the university’s decision to remove the books from the library. After hearing of Bowman’s complaint, the newspaper published a report detailing the most offensive books in the two campus libraries. Some of the books featured sexually provocative cover pictures. The seemingly innocuous book included in the report was Legion, William Peter Blatty’s sequel to The Exorcist was included in the list.
A Georgetown spokesperson told a student reporter that the decision to remove the books from the libraries was made out of concern for the sensitivity of the university’s students and staff.
Administrators “led an investigation into the content of both libraries’ collections” following outreach from the crack research team at the Hilltop and Review. The Residential Life team removed books whose “titles, topics, and images … raised concerns for students and staff,” the spokesperson said.