This session introduces the historical evolution of book banning from obscenity law to book challenges. It will explore how the law of obscenity changed making prosecutions of books (nearly) impossible. Faced with this reality, those who opposed certain books or topics turned to the book challenge as a method of limiting public access to the material. We will also cover some of the basic legal issues and rules but – spoiler alert! – it turns out the law doesn’t answer very many questions about book banning after all.
Dr. Richard Price
Dr. Richard Price (they/them) is Associate Professor of Political Science at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Their work focuses on the censorship of literature in schools and libraries over the past half century with a specific focus on attempts to censor LGTBQ inclusive material. Recently Richard published “Navigating a doctrinal grey area: Free speech, the right to read, and schools” on battles over Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home in the First Amendment Studies. They also blog intermittently at Adventures in Censorship .com. They are currently working on a book tentatively titled The Perils of Queer Literature.