Challenged Works

Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century American Art

By Richard Meyer (2001)


2002—The author was due to appear at Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto when he discovered that his publisher, Oxford University Press, had decided not to sell the U.S. edition in Canada.

Objection—The book includes a photograph of a nude boy by Robert Mapplethorpe, and the publisher feared the photograph might trigger criminal charges under Canada’s child pornography law. “The picture at issue, a portrait entitled ‘Jesse McBride,’ is not pornographic in any way,” said Meyer, “and part of what I discuss in the book is how the patently false charge of child pornography has been used by conservative politicians and
the Christian Right as a justification to suppress Mapplethorpe’s work. Using these same arguments, Oxford has, in effect, censored a scholarly book on censorship.

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