This Sunday, January 15, 2 p.m., PEN America hosts the flagship New York City event of a national rallying effort under the banner of WRITERS RESIST. This literary protest will bring together hundreds of writers and their fellow New Yorkers on the steps of the New York Public Library in a collective stand to defend free expression, reject hatred, and uphold truth in the face of lies and misinformation....more
Posts Tagged: censorship
Welcome to This Week in Trumplandia. Check in with us every Thursday for a weekly roundup of the most pertinent and relevant content on our country, which is currently spiraling down a crappy toilet drain. You owe it to yourself, your communities, and your humanity to contribute whatever you can, even if it is just awareness of the truth....more
Just announced today: beloved Brooklyn bookstore BookCourt is closing after 35 years in business.
Independent booksellers were the focus of a panel at the Miami Book Fair—discussion focused on how big business was surprised that small business strategies could be useful in selling books....more
And this isn’t so much about art as it is about using art in the worst way. This is a Pro-Trump rally masquerading as a performance art piece that is as vicious an assault on any progressive political sensibility as it is on the less market-oriented forms of underfunded public art forms: social practice, performance art, and art activism.
A state run bookstore in Shanghai is ripping out pages from Webster’s Dictionary that include a reference to Taiwan.
The Dallas Morning News checks in with Deep Vellum Books, the bookstore offshoot of Deep Vellum Publishing that owner Will Evans sought a business partner to keep going....more
‘Banned books’ sounds like a thing of the past. But over at Lit Hub, Amy Brady details the ways that the fight against censorship continues in libraries and schools today:
If school administrators are attempting to limit even elective reading, what does the future hold for students who want access to all books, classic and contemporary—books that might broaden their understanding of the world?
Cooper tried reaching out to the technology giant via phone and numerous emails, but has only received a generic statement about a “violation of the terms of service agreement”; he has not been offered any precise explanation.
At the end of last July, writer Dennis Cooper discovered that his blog, which he began in 2002 and was hosted by Blogger, had vanished....more
During anti-government protests in the Ukraine in 2013 and 2014, Oleh Shynkarenko, a journalist and blogger, found himself turning to Facebook after some of his blog posts were deleted, presumably by security forces. What he shared was a novel about about a man whose brain was controlled by the Russian government, published in 100-word snippets on the social media platfrom (where authorities had less power)....more
One of the missing Hong Kong booksellers has been returned, and gave a speech warning about the power of China’s central government and the waning independence of Hong Kong.
Tiny, the cat that lives in Brooklyn’s Community Bookstore, had a big adventure in the city—he disappeared, causing panic among the store’s employees, before deciding to return....more
In May, Portland’s school board voted to ban textbooks that questioned the severity and human causes of climate change, drawing criticism not only from the right, but from free-speech advocates as well:
“Social studies texts accurately describing the political debate around fossil fuels and climate change, for instance, would presumably contain comments from individuals who ‘express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis’.
Last week, tech billionaire Peter Thiel admitted to funding lawsuits against Gawker Media, including the lawsuit brought by Hulk Hogan. Hogan won a $140 million judgment against Gawker after the site published a small portion of a recording of Hogan having sex with a friend’s wife and talking about eating too much sushi....more
Graeme Whiting, headmaster of the Acorn School (motto: “Have courage for the truth”) of Nailsworth, Great Britain, recently published a blog post condemning “sensational” fantasy novels such as the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Hunger Games series that feature “dark,” “insensitive,” and “addictive” subjects....more
Two secular journalists in Bangladesh were murdered recently, and these are far from the first incidents:
These are only the latest in a recent string of killings of writers and journalists in Bangladesh. In a searing editorial Monday, the Dhaka Tribune called on authorities to work harder to arrest and prosecute the killers, who frequently attack in broad daylight, in front of witnesses.
Emma Garman discusses the ability of UK’s elite to pay lawyers to keep their names out of the press. She raises the topics of censorship, public interest, and the availability of these resources to people of all classes:
The loftiest interpretation of public interest is our common concern with the workings of government, but we’re more often drawn to stories wherein someone’s carefully curated public image conflicts with their private behavior—especially if their image helps them make money.
China has issued a ban on foreign-owned media from publishing online within the nation. Global news agencies like Reuters, Dow Jones, the New York Times, and Bloomberg have invested considerable sums in building bureaus in the country. The foreign media ban is another step in reversing the nation’s loosening of censorship laws....more
In Soviet-era Russia, publishers had dedicated censors responsible for approving printed material. Many things were prohibited, and the rules were clear. In modern Russia, ostensibly censorship is banned, but complex laws and ambiguous threats have made contemporary publishers far more conservative....more
Hundreds of writers around the world are protesting Saudi Arabia’s death sentence of Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh, accused of promoting atheism in his 2008 book of poetry Instructions Within. As a show of solidarity with the poet, Fayadh’s poetry will be read at 122 events in 44 countries....more
For the Guardian, Sian Cain reports on recent efforts from high-profile writers to push China to release Nobel Laureate and poet Liu Xiaobo from prison. According to Cain, Xiaobo was detained for “inciting subversion of state power,” and his supporters, including Margaret Atwood and Ian Rankin, hope he will be released by the seventh anniversary of his arrest....more
A man is facing two years in prison after comparing Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the Lord of the Rings character, Gollum. However, the judge in the case isn’t sure that the comparison is really an insult:
The judge adjourned the case to February and despatched…two academics, two behavioural scientists or psychologists and an expert on cinema and television productions…to pore over Gollum’s character and decide whether it is a comparison worth jail time.
Tenured professors might soon be a thing of the past, and that could prove particularly frightening if one Republican presidential candidate gets a hold of the Department of Education. Tenure protections were created in order to foster original thinking on university campuses and protect academic researchers from censorship....more