The growing conservative trend aiming to prosecute and punish educators and librarians for having materials that include ideas about racism, sex, and sexuality is in direct oppostition to the cause of “liberty” – a term often used by these same groups to justify their actions.
Riley points out the laws in many states requiring people seeking abortion to get “counseling” prior to the procedure is a direct violation of the patient’s and doctor’s intellectual freedom. These laws, often referred to as “informed consent,” focus disproportionately on the negative and rare side effects of abortion while ignoring the positive effects of the procedure and the negative effects of continuing the pregnancy.
Academic freedom, for many instructors in higher education, is a key component of free speech – going beyond simply the freedom to speak on topics but to craft course content, curriculum, and assignments. The state dictating what theories, ideas, and concepts are permitted to be included in education is tantamount to government censorship.
As coordinated censorship attempts spread across the country, understanding who and what these conservative organizations represent is an important piece toward preventing further threats to intellectual freedom in the U.S.
Texas Republican Representative Matt Krause is investigating books that “might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress.” The irony here, Philip Bump points out, is that all this fervor over books that create “discomfort” in teens and tweens comes on the heels of conservatives claiming censorship and “cancel culture” when Dr. Seuss Enterprises ceased publication of six books that portray racist imagery.
An anti-racist, educational resource list was “frozen” until it could be vetted by the Central York School District board. In August 2021, the Central York High School principal sent an email to teachers, with the subject line, “Banned Resources,” and instructions to “Please see the attached list of resources that are not permitted to be utilized in the classroom.”
Banned Books Week is an opportunity to highlight stories that challenge the status quo. Many libraries display literature that individuals and organizations with an agenda want to withhold. The American […]
In 2020, more than 273 books were challenged or banned. Demands to remove books addressing racism and racial justice or those that shared the stories of Black, Indigenous, or people of color grew in number. At the same time, books addressing themes and issues of concern for LGBTQIA+ people continued to dominate the list.
This post includes the top 10 most challenged books of 2020, and a description of challenges that were reported in the news in 2020, available in the compiled booklet Field Report 2020: Banned & Challenged Books on the ALA Store.
Slaughterhouse-Five has been subject to banning, challenges and even burning for decades. The American Library Association lists the title in it’s Banned and Challenged Classics page, citing a book burning in North Dakota in 1973 and a variety of bans and challenges due to language, sexual references and even because it “contains and makes references to religious matters.” ALA notes only two instances of retention after the book was challenged.
Discouraging fanfiction isn’t the purpose of this post. There are many benefits to it. Writing fanfiction is an excellent writing exercise and an argument can be made that it creates more interest in the derivative work. However, understanding the role copyright plays is still important to be thoughtful and intentional with your (repurposed) art.