The dust-jacket photo of O’Connor’s 1952 debut novel, Wise Blood

Catholic Fiction: Flannery O’Connor and Self-Censorship

“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?

Harold Lloyd's character in the film Safety Last hangs from a clocktower over a busy street, looking alarmed.

The Public Domain Grows in 2019

For the first time this century, a wide array of artworks, books, music and films fell into the public domain. Works in the public domain, which now includes those created in 1923, are no longer under copyright protection, so anyone who enjoys creating something can make use of works in the public domain for inspiration. While the late 20th century saw a copyright term that only got longer, the 21st century sees the public domain finally grow.

A Censor Sits in a Library

By: guest contributor Emily M. Schneider, Ph.D. – I am not writing to defend Gantos and McKean’s novel. I empathize with those critics who have expressed fears that it will only stoke the fires of xenophobia and normalize suspicion of Muslims, and that children may find in the book an excuse to bully their peers who seem to conform to the exaggerated images in the book. But, like Fitzgerald, I can also hold opposing ideas, specifically, fears of censorship, and the idea that allowing a book to be published does not imply endorsement of its message.

“Stand” Radio Hour Drama Explores Political and Intellectual Freedom

“Stand” Radio Hour Drama Explores Political and Intellectual Freedom

Stand, is an original, hour-long play about political and intellectual freedom written by Matthew Ivan Bennett. It’s a story of compelled speech, thought, action, and surveillance “by the minute”–a perfect work of art for intellectual freedom proponents to engage with and explore.

Dish of Rice

A Short Guide on How Not to Be Tracked Online By Your Government

Pro tip number one: Pick a word any word – except maybe the hash tag #MeToo. The Me Too Movement, founded by a Black American woman named Tarana Burke to encourage empathy and empowerment for sexual assault survivors, became ubiquitous online and off-line in 2017.  In China, women have been using the coded phrase “rice bunny” (米兔), pronounced as “mi tu” to get around would-be censors who would shut down conversations online about sexual harassment. 

Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin

Q&A with Author Lance Rubin on the Suppression of his YA Novel in South Carolina

Author Lance Rubin published Denton Little’s Deathdate in 2015. It follows a teenage boy named Denton Little who – like everyone else in the world he inhabits – knows the exact date on which they are going to die. Based on a single complaint in August of 2017, the book was pulled from all the Beaufort County School District’s physical and digital library shelves without following the district’s own procedure.