Views and Brews: Censorship
Listen to the unedited Views and Brews discussion on censorship.
KUT was thrilled to once again partner with the folks at the Harry Ransom Center for another evening of great conversation at Views and Brews. Last time around we explored “Becoming Tennessee Williams” and this time our discussion was all about the past, present and future of censorship in the U.S. “Banned, Burned, Seized and Censored” at the HRC features more than 200 items drawn primarily from the Ransom Center’s collections and explores the question: How did hundreds of thousands of books, pictures, plays and magazines come to be banned, burned, seized and censored in less than 30 years?
Danielle Sigler, Ransom Center Assistant Director and curator of the exhibit, was joined by David Donaldson, a noted First Amendment Lawyer and Media Law and Ethics Lecturer at the University of Texas School of Journalism. KUT’s Rebecca McInroy hosted the lively evening as our guests took the audience through some of the anecdotes and controversies of the past 80 years.
“The exhibition is limited to a particular time period, so the visitor can begin to get a sense of the materials that reformers deemed objectionable at that specific moment in American history,” said Sigler. “During the interwar years, more often than not, the objection boiled down to sex.”
“One of the goals of the exhibition is to show that censorship is far more complicated than one might think. In the United States in this particular period, it was not a matter of a monolithic body censoring books. The process is more nuanced. As you look at these materials, you begin to understand why reformers argued for censorship, why authors battled against it and even why some publishers found censorship a boon for sales.”
“Banned, Burned, Seized, and Censored,” focuses on the rarely seen “machinery” of censorship in the United States between the two world wars and remains on display now through January 22nd.
Enjoy listening back to the discussion here and join in the conversation by adding your comments below.