Banned Books

What do Harry Potter, The Handmaid’s Tale, and To Kill a Mockingbird have in common? They have all been placed on the very long list of books that have been banned from classrooms and libraries. Banned books are considered by some to be so objectionable that they think no one should EVER read them. Banned books, by their very nature, are filled with objectionable material. Censorship is nothing new; books have been banned, burned, and abridged for a very long time. In this course, we will study some of those books and work toward an understanding of what lies beneath the impulse to censor. Are some ideas simply so unpleasant that they need to be kept from the citizenry? We will read texts that have been banned for political or religious reasons, texts that have faced obscenity charges, and texts that have been challenged as inappropriate for schools and libraries. Our overarching concern will be to contemplate what place censorship has in a free society. There is no prerequisite for this course, but it will require a good amount of reading and quizzes to go along with the readings.