Banning Books: Censorship, Parental Rights, and the Future of Intellectual Curiosity
Over the past few years, public school boards and state governments across the United States have been restricting specific books from being taught in their classrooms or circulating in school libraries. Books about sexual identity, sexual activity, gender identity, and racial identity have been especially targeted. Reacting to or instigating parental concerns, local and state politicians have advocated close scrutiny of certain books, and in some places book burnings have resulted. Many contend that these assaults on books are politically motivated censorship, fuel a culture war, and drive an unnecessary moral panic.
Amidst this ongoing debate, might the First Amendment and its guarantee of Free Speech offer some wisdom on how to navigate these issues? Is there a line to be drawn somewhere between censorship and parental rights?
Join Georgetown University’s nonpartisan Free Speech Project on Monday, October 3, 2022, at 5:30 pm EDT, in Copley Formal Lounge for a conversation about the ongoing book-banning debate across America, and the future of intellectual curiosity.
Panelists include the author of the contested book Lawn Boy, a Republican Virginia state delegate who attempted to declare two books legally obscene, the director of PEN America’s Washington office, and Georgetown University’s vice president for institutional diversity and equity.
Timothy Anderson, Republican member, Virginia House of Delegates
Jonathan Evison, author of Lawn Boy, New York Times bestseller
Nadine Farid Johnson, managing director, PEN America, Washington, D.C.
Rosemary Kilkenny, vice president for institutional diversity and equity, Georgetown University.
Sanford J. Ungar (moderator), director, Free Speech Project, Georgetown University.
To RSVP for this event, either In-Person or Virtually, please click the respective links in the left hand column.
*PLEASE NOTE: if inclement weather persists, this event will be moved to Copley Formal Lounge, located in Copley Hall.