Collins Living Learning Center | Banned Books and Social Censorship
L220 | 24961 | Renee Barlow


Censorship is an often used but rarely fully understood topic. We often hear of
books or ideas being banned within schools or in other countries, but what
about these texts or ideas are so bad? What are the controversies
surrounding censorship? In this course, we will read a variety of texts and
consider ideas which have been censored in various countries and times.
Starting with one of the most sensational censorship controversies in history
(The death of Socrates) and moving through some of the most banned books
in America today (e.g. Morrison's The Bluest Eye), we will interrogate
censorship in all its forms. Of primary interest to us will be the relationship
between state repression, social norms and individual free expression. How
does a person respond to state and social censorship? And how or why does
a person internalize social norms, in effect censoring him/herself?