Category Archives: censorship

Publishers employ “sensitivity readers” to avoid offending readers

A new National Public Radio (NPR) piece by Lynn Neary reveals something I didn’t know: some book publishers, especially those who put out children’s books, employ “sensitivity readers” to go over manuscripts and single out bits that might offend readers. The NPR piece can be accessed (both the audio and text) by clicking on the screenshot […]

Dave Rubin speech at USC postponed indefinitely over “safety concerns”

Dave Rubin may have been criticized for not challenging some of his “problematic” guests (e.g., Milo Yiannopoulos), but I think that criticism is largely unfair, for Rubin’s brief is to just let guests talk on the premise that unfiltered, un-reactive speech is useful in letting viewers see someone’s true opinion. And you may object to some […]

Milo Yiannopoulos speech canceled at UC Berkeley amidst protests and violence

According to the New York Times and SFGate, Milo Yiannopoulos’s scheduled appearance at the University of California at Berkeley last night, sponsored by the College Republicans, was canceled after initially peaceful protests turned violent. The situation isn’t completely clear, but it looks as if “outside agitators” (i.e., non-students) attacked police barricades, threw paint, and then went on […]

Milo Yiannopoulos talk canceled at University of California at Davis

Once again, Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos has been prevented from speaking, this time at the university where I did my postdoc: the University of California at Davis. As CNN reported yesterday: A speech by right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos’ at UC Davis was over before it even started Friday after protests erupted, forcing sponsors to cancel […]

Virginia removes “To Kill a Mockingbird” from schools for “racist language”

In these censorious times, made even more censorious by liberals’ counter-reaction to Trump (his election heightened fears by Leftists of more “Islamophobia” and racism), we can expect to see even more calls for bowdlerizing books or removing them from libraries. This is the case with two wonderful books—To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberrry Finn—in some schools in […]

Adam Kirsch on writing and cultural appropriation

Just to show how ridiculous is the claim that writers should generally avoid producing fiction about “marginalized groups” unless they belong to those groups (see here, here and here re the Lionel Shriver affair), have a butcher’s at a new kerfuffle: that involving “Elena Ferrante,” an Italian author of wildly popular novels, especially the “Neapolitan Novels”, a series […]

Lionel Shriver defends “literary appropriation” and calls out the Repressive Left

Not long ago Yasmin Abdel-Magied, a Sudanese/Australian/Muslim writer, described in the Guardian how offended she became when author Lionel Shriver, speaking at the Brisbane Writers Festival, defended the right of authors to write fiction about “marginalized” characters (i.e., people of color and others seen as oppressed). Abdel-Magied, who came off as someone unable to tolerate […]

Lecture invitation to Jim Watson rescinded because of remarks about race he made in 2007

Three years ago I had the chance to chat with J. D. Watson (yes, the DNA Watson ) for well over an hour, and it was an enlightening conversation spanning a lot of diverse topics (see my summary at the link). Watson has a reputation, rightly deserved, for being controversial, and he’s said a number of […]

Syracuse decides to allow screening of film on Israeli settlers

The other day I noted that M. Gail Hammer, a professor of religion at Syracuse, canceled the screening of a film on Israeli settlers because of her fear that it would incite the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) students on campus. The director of the film “The Settlers“, Simon Dotan, had been invited by a professor […]

University of Wisconsin bans innocuous paintings of Native Americans

The University of Wisconsin is into big-time censorship these days, and its latest Pecksniffian episode is particularly ludicrous. As reported by the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), a branch of the University at Stoutt (UWS) has ordered two paintings removed from public view because they depict “interactions between white traders and First Nations people” and could […]