Banned Books Week features speaker on censorship, annual trivia contest

Banned Books Week features speaker on censorship, annual trivia contest

It’s the 25th annual Banned Books Week Sept. 23-30, and each year the University of St. Thomas celebrates this American Library Association event celebrating freedom of choice for readers and free expression for writers.

The St. Thomas libraries and the campus chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, will host a lecture during the week by an author noted nationally for his work on the topics of censorship and banned literature.

Dr. Nicholas Karolides, who has taught English and literature at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for more than four decades, will comment on the past and present state of censorship at noon Thursday, Sept. 28, in the O’Shaughnessy Room of O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center at the University of St. Thomas.

Karolides is author, co-author or co-editor of several volumes on censorship and banned books. The Encyclopedia of Censorship, first published in 1990 and updated for a second edition in 2005, was described by the Library Journal as a valuable, informative book describing “the crowded roster of those who have been affected by censorship, as well as the books, films, and other works attacked.” Reference books he co-wrote, 100 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature (1999) and 120 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature (2005), give insight into titles that historically have faced a high rate of censorship, both in the United States and abroad.  

Karolides’ four-volume, 584-page set, Literature Suppressed on Political Grounds: Banned Books (1998), spotlights some 400 works that have been censored, banned, or condemned because of their political, social, religious, or sexual content. The entries, which include a summary, censorship history, and brief bibliography, range widely from works by Aristotle and Galileo to Adolf Hitler and Judy Blume.

In 1998 Karolides received an award for intellectual freedom from the Wisconsin Librarians Association, and in 2004 he was lauded for outstanding research, scholarly and creative activities by the College of Arts and Science at UW-River Falls.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

During Banned Books Week you also can get a free bookmark and look at displays in Charles J. Keffer Library and O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center, and visit the Banned Books Week Web site for more information and resources. And don’t miss an annual favorite: the online daily trivia contest!

For more information, please contact Andrea Koeppe, (651) 962-4647.