What prompts the urge to protect from, or guard against, words and ideas? Through an examination of literary works that have been challenged or banned during the 20th century, this course will consider what gives words and ideas power, and what reactions are provoked when this power is perceived as threatening and dangerous. We will consider themes of censorship and freedom of speech, obscenity and offensiveness, and the shifting nature of the taboo in different sociopolitical, cultural and historical contexts. Using a combination of formal analysis and theoretical readings, we will explore how each author uses controversial material to interrogate and challenge the boundaries of literary and social acceptability within his or her own historical and cultural position. Literary works may include Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, George Orwell's Animal Farm, Allen Ginsberg's Howl, Nadine Gordimer's July's People, and/or Toni Morrison's Beloved.
There is a 20% reduced fee for students 65 years of age or older at the time of registration. You must register by phone (403-220-2952) or in person to receive this discount.