Penn State Censorship

, Lori Lowenthall Marcus, Leave a comment

Joshua H. Stulman, the former Penn State art student whose anti-terrorism artwork was censored by Penn State, and who was labeled a racist propagandist for Israel by two professors, has filed a Complaint in federal court claiming violations of his First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and expression and of association, and that he was defamed by School of Visual Arts Director Charles Garoian.

Stulman created a series of paintings, “Portraits of Terror,” to address the issues of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism in Israel. Each of the paintings in the series is based on news articles, photographs and well-documented research.

Penn State officials and the Muslim Student Association advisor who professed concern about Stulman’s work refused Stulman’s repeated efforts to meet with them.

Penn State art professor Robert Yarber, also a named defendant in this lawsuit, labeled Stulman a racist propagandist who promoted Islamophobia, and said Israel was a terrorist state that had no right to exist.

Penn State administrator Garoian announced that he canceled the exhibition of Stulman’s anti-terrorism art exhibit because of Penn State ’s hate speech code and its policy on nondiscrimination and harassment. Garoian also falsely said that Stulman’s work was “commissioned” by Penn State Hillel and that Stulman’s artwork was used to advance Hillel’s “particular cultural and political” agenda.

Stulman is seeking damages and injunctive relief.