During the last week of September, Banned Books Week will celebrate 30 years of awareness across the country; our college especially is joining in the festivities.
Banned Books Week is an event that celebrates the freedom to read and write. The English department will once again host this week’s events. Dr. William Burns is just one of the many faculty members that will be participating in the events that will transpire next week.
“Banned Books Week was created to draw attention to censorship of books in schools and infringements on free speech,” Dr.Burns explains. “We have had a few events at Suffolk over the years but this is the first time we are doing presentations and the read out”.
The American Library Association (ALA) created Banned Book week back in 1982. This week brings special recognition to not only books that have been censored, but to censorship as a whole. As not only students, but as citizens of the United States, everyone is given the first amendment, which is the freedom of speech, religion, and press. Expressing the first amendment is a vital part of Banned Books week.
Dr.Burns expresses his beliefs, “I feel that of all our basic rights, the freedom of expression is the most important, yet it is the right that people are of then willing to let go without questioning it. Asking why something is censored or banned is a revolutionary act and it is protected by the Constitution. Without freedom of expression, academic freedom is impossible”.
Banned Book week at school will be on Tuesday October 2 and Wednesday October 3 with the following agenda:
Tuesday October 2, there will be a series of presentations on banned books starting at 9am in the Eaton’s Neck Room (the old Faculty Dining Room) in the Babylon Student Center.
-9-9:30: Informal Informational Session about Banned Books Week and the American Library Association
-9:30-10:45: Droogs and Nymphets: Banning Anthony Burgess and Vladimir Nabokov (William Burns)
-11:00-12:15: Censorship and Literature: A Discussion with Professors Emily Lauer, Audrey DeLong, and Maria Kranidis
-12:30-1:45: Book Banning and the ACLU (Jennifer Farquhar and Kevin McCoy)
-2:00-3:15: To Teach or Not to Teach?: Banned Books in the Classroom (Kelliann Flores and Meridith Leo)
Dr. Burns notes, “We are inviting all members of the SCCC Community to come and are encouraging instructors to bring their classes”.
On Wednesday October 3, the English department is hosting the Read-Out to Fight Censorship on the steps in front of Huntington Library.
“We are asking the SCCC Community to join us at Common Hour (11:00am-12:15pm) for a reading of banned books on the steps of the Huntington Library on the Ammerman Campus! Bring a banned book to the Huntington Library and speak out for freedom of expression,” Dr. Burns said.
Some of the many books that are on the banned books list include, The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple and 1984. For further information on the banned books visit http://www.ala.org or for information about the events on campus please contact Dr. William Burns or Professor Meridith Leo of the English Department.