Reading Dangerously: Censorship and Books


Sep 20, 2022, 7:00 pm

Reading Dangerously invites educational professionals, parents, and the community at large to discuss challenged books and their impact on society. Conversations are informational and participants are encouraged but not expected to have read the book or be up to date on the conversations beforehand. Moderators and panelists opinions and statements are their own and do not represent the views and values of the sponsoring organizations.

Community Conversation on Censorship and Books

Room: Main Auditorium

Register for the conversation here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1WAczEO2qr__l0uo64737irL-he8o02k7K9zFEfU5r2U/edit

Venue: City Library, Salt Lake City (210 E 400 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111)

The conversation will include a background presentation led by Dr. Hollis Robbins, Dean of Humanities at the University of Utah. The background presentation will provide context for the censorship of the following books by actors across the political spectrum:

1) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Source: Marshall Libraries, Timeline for Controversy surrounding The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: https://www.marshall.edu/library/bannedbooks/the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finn/

Source: PBS Conversation on Huckleberry Finn: https://www.marshall.edu/library/bannedbooks/the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finn/

2) Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

Source: Intellectual Freedom Blog Overview: https://www.oif.ala.org/oif/top-10-banned-books-lawn-boy/

3) I Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss

Source: New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/04/books/dr-seuss-books.html

4) All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Source: Marshall Libraries, Timeline for Controversy surrounding All American Boys: https://www.marshall.edu/library/bannedbooks/all-american-boys/

Source: LitHub on the Legacy of All American Boys: https://lithub.com/five-years-later-on-the-enduring-legacy-of-all-american-boys/

5) Key Local Sources
Deseret News, Op-Ed: https://www.deseret.com/opinion/2022/5/18/23077850/opinion-utah-legislature-new-law-against-pornographic-books-schools-hb374

Attorney General June 1 Memo
https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/2022-06-01-Official-Memo-Re-Laws-Surrounding-School-Libraries.pdf

Next, Dr. Robbins will provide context for three key terms in this conversation: freedom of speech, censorship, “banned,” “challenged,” and book rating.

Lastly, Dr Robbins will pose opening discussion questions to our panelists: Teacher-Librarian Davina Sauthoff, romance author and book rater Rachel Ann Nunes, and WSU professor of communication Dr. Richard Price.

Some questions include: Why is it important to talk about banned and challenged books? When is censorship appropriate? What makes a title inappropriate for public education or for certain age groups? Who gets to decide what is on the shelves of public school libraries?

The event then transitions to a conversation with the public.

ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION:
- ASL interpretation provided if requested. Email palomo@utahhumanities.org to make the request.
- No livestream will be made available
- Parking: TRAX stop right in front of the library. Street parking available by the meter. Parking garage beneath the library include disabled stalls.
- On-site sensory kit available.
- Masks recommended
- Request any additional questions or accommodations here: https://forms.gle/uV8MABJVvh9bE42F8

This event is made possible with support from the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah, Utah Humanities, and PEN America - Utah Chapter.

Salt Lake City Public Library, Main Branch

210 E 400 S
Salt Lake City , UT 84111-2804
Map [+]

Event Contact:

Caitlin McDonald
mcdonald@utahhumanities.org

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