One last trip to visit the (formerly) forbidden books housed at Harvard’s Houghton Library.
“Southern Gothic” short-story and fiction writer Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964) is celebrated to this day for her wry portrayals of strange, often disturbing signs of life below the Mason-Dixon Line. But as a devout Catholic, she also practiced self-censorship in the form of avoiding or otherwise officially requesting permission to read works included on the Catholic Index of Forbidden Books. How did she reconcile the two?
An academic librarian and scholar of historical book banning debriefs after his third trip to visit the holdings of Harvard’s Houghton Library — including rare books that once appeared on the Catholic Index of Forbidden Books.
What just happened? A look back at some of the biggest intellectual-freedom news of 2018…and a look forward to those on the horizon in 2019.
This month we celebrate the birthday of banned French novelist Gustave Flaubert (December 12). Find out what (most likely) earned his most famous novel a place on the Catholic Index of Forbidden Books.
Are admissions policies at the world’s most exclusive colleges fair? How do they even determine what “fair” is? And does this presence or absence of fairness affect our intellectual freedom?
One librarian’s reflections on diversity of opinion as it fits within our understanding of intellectual freedom and information literacy.
Is it unethical to charge library fines? The current landscape in public and other libraries shows that there’s no one way to handle it, but trends are moving in favor of patrons.
As an academic librarian with a deep interest in historical and contemporary book censorship, I can’t imagine a better way to spend my vacation than with the very books deemed too dangerous to read. This post is my first dispatch as a visiting fellow in publishing history at the Houghton Library, Harvard’s main repository of rare books and manuscripts.
Novelist Ray Bradbury contended over the years since Fahrenheit 451 was first published that his intent was to show how flashier technology like television could completely eclipse our appreciation for great literature. But now that his 1953 science-fiction classic has been adapted for the 21st century with a booming made-for-HBO film, does that prove he was right?