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Public Sphere – Reading Banned Books

February 27, 2019


Each year in the Library in February we celebrate Freedom to Read (incl. freedom of speech and anti-censorship). One of the key activities – and the only one this year, in addition to an exhibit – is a reading from books which have been banned or challenged. We will be doing the readings differently this year, because we want to emphasize the point that virtually no matter what the content is of a book, in a free society we have the right to read it – and in public. So we are asking our readers to read not only from a banned book, but also a passage from that book which is potentially offensive – swearing, sexually explicit, challenging religion or other cultural pillars, and so on. The idea of course is not to titillate with sexuality, or to shock with swearing and other rough language, or to offend cherished beliefs with gratuitous criticism. Instead, we want to demonstrate that all these ideas and ways of expressing them, either in factual prose or in imaginary literature, have as much of a place in the public sphere as any other text that is more acceptable to a larger mass of people.

MacOdrum Library
Carleton University MacOdrum Library 1125 Colonel By Drive Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
Ottawa, Ontario


Alicia Ott [email protected] 613-316-6383

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