In this class, we will be studying works that have been banned or censored, or that analyze, contextualize, or portray some form of censorship.
In particular, we will examine controversies around given works, consider why certain audiences esteem works as valuable or laudable, and why other audiences view those same works offensive, threatening, or harmful. We will also examine how writers and societies respond to restrictions on expression, consider genres and media of expression, and how those forms of expression frame an exchange of values between speaker and audience, and explore censorship controversies in our own society, as well as in that of others. Possible texts and topics of study include Plato, The Trial and Death of Socrates; Bertolt Brecht, Galileo; Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice; Lillian Hellman, The Children's Hour; Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn; Vladimir Nabakov, Lolita, Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Shahriar Mandanipour, Censoring an Iranian Love Story, Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues.
Assignments will include written papers, a mid-semester and a final exam, and regular participation in a class blog, wiki, or discussion board.