Undergraduate Course: Censorship (ENLI10357)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
||Availability||Available to all students
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
|Home subject area||English Literature
||Other subject area||None
||Taught in Gaelic?||No
|Course description||John Milton's 'Areopagitica' (1644) describes two forms of censorship: pre-publication censorship, which Milton rejects as incompatible with English liberty; and destruction of the book after publication, which he holds compatible with English justice. This course studies the ways in which censorship, pre- and post-publication, has been enforced, resisted, and accepted from the seventeenth century to the present day. The operation of the censor is apparent in the prosecution of authors, publishers and booksellers for blasphemy, sedition, and obscenity; but censorship operates just as effectively through editorial intervention and the quiet rejection of offending texts by libraries and bookshops. We will learn about the economic, social, and legal pressures to which writers and publishers are subject, considering how the threat of censorship influences the formation, production, and reception of literature. We will read a range of texts that have provoked official and unofficial censorship, texts that articulate and challenge the position of the censor, and texts that imagine the destruction of books. Throughout the course, we will analyse censorship¿s construction of a vulnerable reader, who, like Don Quixote, the hero of the first novel, becomes that which he reads.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||A MINIMUM of three college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as civilisation or creative writing are not considered for admissions to this course. Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course having three to four literature classes at grade A.
|Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?||No
Course Delivery Information
|Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
||Learn enabled: Yes
|Class Delivery Information
||Two-hour seminar per week for 10 weeks; plus Autonomous Learning Group for 1 hour per week for 10 weeks, at times to be arranged.
|Course Start Date
|Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info)
|No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
|By the end of this course, students will be able to:
-understand the legislative, economic and cultural contexts of censorship;
-discuss the relationship between literary production and censorship, primarily in relation to British fiction, poetry and prose;
-articulate how censorship operates prior to publication, during the publication process, and after publication;
-analyse the impact of censorship on historical and contemporary ideas of the reader.
|One course essay of 2500 words (25%)|
One examination essay of 3000 words (75%)
||WEEK 1 Introduction to censorship.
John Milton, Areopagitica (1644) (via Learn).
Extracts from Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605; 1612) (via Learn).
WEEK 2 Seditious and blasphemous libel.
Percy Bysse Shelley, Queen Mab (1813) (via Learn).
Extracts from Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man (1791-92; Oxford, 2008).
Students to select reading for Week 11.
WEEK 3 The Vulnerable Reader 1: Working-Class Readers.
William Harrison Ainsworth, Jack Sheppard (1839; Penguin, 2010).
Extracts from John Gay, The Beggar's Opera (1728; Norton 9th edn.).
WEEK 4 The Vulnerable Reader 2: Female Readers.
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, The Doctor's Wife (1864; Oxford, 2008).
WEEK 5 Censorship in the library.
George Moore, A Mummer's Wife and Literature at Nurse; (1885; Victorian Secrets, 2011).
WEEK 6 The Lord Chamberlain's office.
George Bernard Shaw, Mrs Warren's Profession (1893; Norton 9th edn); Harley Granville Barker, Waste (1926 revision; Granville Barker, Plays: One, Methuen, 1993).
WEEK 7 Imagining censorship.
George Orwell, 1984 (1949; Penguin, 2008).
Nathaniel Hawthorne, 'Earth's Holocaust' (1844) (via Learn).
WEEK 8 ESSAY COMPLETION WEEK
WEEK 9 Obscenity.
D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928; 1960; Penguin, 2010).
WEEK 10 Chilling effect.
Ma Jian, Beijing Coma (Vintage, 2009).
WEEK 11 The Vulnerable Reader 3: Children and Young Adults.
One text, chosen by students in Week 2, from the American Library Association's list of the most frequently challenged and banned books in American public libraries. In 2011, the top ten banned books included: To Kill a Mockingbird, Brave New World, and The Hunger Games trilogy. Our focus shifts from the UK to the US not because censorship is necessarily more prevalent in US public libraries than in the UK, but because the ALA's reporting system quantifies censorship and makes it visible.
||Báez, Fernando, A Universal History of the Destruction of Books: From Ancient Sumer to Modern Iraq (New York: Atlas, 2008).
Bosmajian, Haig, Burning Books (McFarland, 2006).
Bourdieu, Pierre, 'Censorship and the Imposition of Form', in Language and Symbolic Power, ed. John B. Thompson (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1991), 137-59.
Brantlinger, Patrick, The Reading Lesson: The Threat of Mass Literacy in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction (Indiana UP, 1998).
Bristow, Edward, Vice and Vigilance: Purity Movements in Britain since 1700 (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1977).
Cummins, Anthony, 'Émile Zola¿s Cheap English Dress: The Vizetelly Translations, Late-Victorian Print Culture, and the Crisis of Literary Value', The Review of English Studies, 60 (2008), 108-32.
Donaldson, Ian, 'The Destruction of the Book', Book History 1 (1998), 1-10.
Drogin, Marc, Biblioclasm: The Mythical Origins, Magic Powers, and Perishability of the Written Word (Savage: Rowman & Littlefield, 1989).
Fishburn, Matthew, Burning Books (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).
Flint, Kate, The Woman Reader 1837-1914. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993).
Gilbert, Pamela K., Disease, Desire and the Body in Victorian Women's Popular Novels. (CUP, 1997).
Gillers, Stephen, 'A Tendency to Deprave and Corrupt: The Transformation of American Obscenity Law from Hicklin to Ulysses II', Washington University Law Review, 85:2 (2007), 216-95.
Griest, Guinevere L., Mudie's Circulating Library and the Victorian Novel (Bloomington: Indiana UP,1970).
Heath, Deana, 'Obscenity, Censorship and Modernity', in A Companion to the History of the Book, ed. Simon Eliot and Jonathan Rose, (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), pp. 508-519.
Hunt, Alan, Governing Morals: A Social History of Moral Regulation (Cambridge: CUP, 1999).
Hunt, Lynn, The Invention of Pornography: Obscentity and the Origins of Modernity (New York: Zone, 1993).
Hunter, Ian, Daivd Saunders and Duglad Williamson, On Pornography: Literature, Sexuality and Obscenity Law (New York: St Martin's, 1993).
Hyland, Paul, and Neil Sammells (eds.), Writing and Censorship in Britain (London: Routledge, 1992).
Knuth, Rebecca, Libricide: The Regime-Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries in the 20th Century (Westport, CN: Praeger, 2003.)
-------------------, Burning Books and Leveling Libraries: Extremist Violence and Cultural Destruction (Westport, CN: Praeger, 2006).
Manchester, Colin, 'A History of the Crime of Obscene Libel', Journal of Legal History 12:1 (1991), 37-57.
Manvell, Roger. The Trial of Annie Besant and Charles Bradlaugh. (London: Elek, 1976).
Marsh, Joss, Word Crimes: Blasphemy, Culture and Literature in Nineteenth-Century England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998).
Nash, David, ed. Blasphemy in Britain and America, 1800-1930. (Pickering & Chatto, 2010).
Pease, Allison, Modernism, Mass Culture, and the Aesthetics of Obscenity (CUP, 2000).
Post, Robert (ed.), Censorship and Silencing: Practices of Cultural Regulation (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1998).
Saunders, David, 'Copyright, Obscenity and Literary History', ELH 57:2 (1990), 431-44.
Shellard, Dominic and Steve Nicholson, The Lord Chamberlain Regrets...: A History of British Theatre Censorship (London: British Library, 2004).
Sutherland, John, Victorian Novelists and Publishers (London: Athlone Press, 1976).
---------------------, Offensive Literature: Decensorship in Britain, 1960-1982 (London: Junction, 1982).
Thomas, Donald, A Long Time Burning: The History of Literary Censorship in Britain (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1969).
|Course organiser||Dr Katherine Inglis
Tel: (0131 6)50 3617
|Course secretary||Ms Sheila Strathdee
Tel: (0131 6)50 3619
© Copyright 2013 The University of Edinburgh - 13 January 2014 4:13 am