[Milton-L] Recommendations for a course on censorship

Jeffrey Shoulson jshoulson at miami.edu
Thu Nov 15 14:38:37 EST 2007

Over the years I've taught several avatars of a course on Blasphemy.   
While not the same as censorship, it has some obvious overlaps.   
Though it does present some challenges, I've had good success  
teaching Rushdie's The Satanic Verses in that course and I think it  
would fit well in your censorship course, too.  You can supplement it  
with some of Rushdie's post-fatwah ruminations on the whole debacle,  
But since censorship ought to includes matters other than religion,  
surely you'd want to address the censorship of matters of sexuality,  
say perhaps, the indecency trials and controversies concerning either  
Oscar Wilde or James Joyce.  Also, obviously, political censorship:   
here in Miami, we've gone through a recent brouhaha over an  
elementary school text book called Vamos a Cuba which, according to  
its detractors, paints far too positive a picture of contemporary  
Cuba and which was censored from the school curricula as a result.
Finally, I wonder whether it might be interesting to consider the  
whole Intelligent Design business.  Its advocates clearly want to  
suggest that they are being censored; such a discussion might be very  
illuminating concerning the line between censorship and academic  
Gosh, you're making me want to teach a course on this too, Angelica.   
I'd love to see the syllabus you end up using.

Jeffrey S. Shoulson, Ph. D.
Associate Professor of English and Judaic Studies
University of Miami
PO Box 248145
Coral Gables, FL 33124-4632

(o) 305-284-5596
(f) 305-284-5635

jshoulson at miami.edu

On Nov 15, 2007, at 2:12 PM, Boyd M Berry/FS/VCU wrote:

> Angelica:
> Willliam Whately's Bride-bush went through 3 editions, the first  
> far shorter than the second and third.  The changes in the second  
> are, to me, fascinating, in part because he moved the treatment of  
> sex and menstruation up from the end of the first into the first  
> part of the second.  You will know that the treatment of  
> menstruation is as "scientific" as it was possible to get.
> However, Whately was censured by his bishop for the second edition,  
> as you can learn easily.  However, the third edition is, to my  
> rapid eye, basically the second, with a note at the end telling the  
> reader that some things in it have been challenged or words to that  
> effect.
> Annabel Patterson, of course, considered censorship and self- 
> sensorship.
> Boyd Berry
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