EN090: Banned Books
What They Didn't Want You to Read in High School


On this page, you'll find:
  • A brief description of the course
  • Course resources, including a complete syllabus
  • Links to related websites

  • Censorship in the public schools is a complex issue, involving disputes about what constitutes wholesome social values and about what relationships should exist between church, state, educators, parents, and minor children. The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom reports that during the 1992-93 school year, there were 395 reported attempts to ban books, lessons or educational approaches from classrooms, school libraries, or districts in 44 states. The objective of this course, a foundation seminar for first-year students, is to investigate the issue of censorship from multiple perspectives. In the process, we shall clarify our own values and thoughts about the role of education in shaping them, the role of religion in the schools and separation of church and state, the freedom of the press, and what limits there ought to be, if any, on children's freedom to read and who should be authorized to set them.


    COURSE RESOURCES


    Syllabus


    Library Resources



    LINKS TO RELATED WEBSITES


    Censorship--Definitions, Archives, Bibliographies, etc.
  • Banned Books Week 1995 at CSULB Bookstore An interesting page (though slow to load), revealing how one bookstore celebrated the ALA's annual "Banned Books Week."
  • The Fileroom Censorship Archives Another slow-loading page (just click at the bottom of the page to continue without waiting), but the archives themselves are extremely informative.
  • Banned Books On-line Essay sketching the history of censorship; links to pages describing books mentioned makes this an archive of sorts.
  • Women's Voices Silenced A bibliography of books by women authors that have been banned or challenged in the U.S.

    Anti-Censorship Sources
  • The Blue Ribbon Campaign for Online Free SpeechThis is one of the most heavily visited sites anywhere on the web.
  • People for the American Way This organization works "to build a movement grounded in values that define what is best about our country," including freedom of speech and effective public schools. Reports, action alerts, links to other sites.
  • The American Library Association One of the strongest, most active anti-censorship organizations in our society. Under "ALA and You" click on "Areas of Interest and Activity," then on "Intellectual Freedom" to read about how librarians interpret the First Amendment and resist attempts to censor collections. The librarians' "Bill of Rights."
  • Challenges to the Public Schools Curriculum An on-line essay by Martha McCarthy alerting readers to the strategies and tactics employed by conservatives challenging the public schools.
  • Book Banning, Burning, and Censorship A multimedia presentation by Bookstacks Unlimited, Inc., including a "Tour of Banned Books as Art."
  • Student Association for Free Expression (SAFE) How to determine if your institution is censoring your access to the net; how to receive banned newsgroups, etc.

    Conservative Sources
  • The Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly founded this group, which seeks to influence the schools in such a way that "traditional" and "family values" anchor the curriculum. See the Education Reports for information on current censorship campaigns.


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