FEPP Archives - Issues - Censorship
In Front of the Children: "Indecency," Censorship, and the Innocence
From Huckleberry Finn to Harry Potter, censorship
is often based on the assumption that children and adolescents must be
protected from information about ideas. In the award-winning book, Not
in Front of the Children: "Indecency," Censorship, and the Innocence
of Youth, Marjorie Heins explores the history and politics of indecency
laws and other censorship aimed at youth.
(December 17, 2002) - If you are interested in the origins
of our present-day struggles over sexual information and ideas, Helen
Lefkowitz Horowitzs detailed rendering the 19th century landscape
is packed with incidents and insights. Rereading Sex: Battles Over
Sexual Knowledge and Suppression in Nineteenth-Century America.
on Trial: The Story of 3 Landmark
(Winter 2002) - The trial that freed James Joyce's Ulysses;
the case that broke the Catholic Church stranglehold over American movies;
and the McCarthy Era case that ended teachers' loyalty
Strange Case of Sarah Jones
(January 24, 2003; updated February 20, 2003) - Where does
the federal government get the power to ban a feminist rap poem?
on Fire: Book Censorship in
(March 13, 2003) - At the opening of Boston's Words
on Fire festival commemorating the 70th anniversary of the first Nazi
book burnings, a survey of book censorship in America today.
Impact of the USA PATRIOT Act on Free Expression
(May 5, 2003) - FEPP Senior Research Fellow Nancy
Kranich surveys the chilling effects of the government's broad, new, secret
Than Seven Dirty Words
(August 4, 2003) The FCC's threat to revoke broadcast licenses
because of vulgar radio content focuses on a truly gross call-in show
describing such bizarre sexual practices as "the Rusty Trombone,"
but the broader issue is the unconstitutionality of the agency's vague
Lives Behind The Cases
(August 4, 2003) - Stephanie Elizondo Griest reviews Speaking
Our Minds: Conversations With the People Behind Landmark First Amendment
and the Constitution
(August 19, 2003) - David Cole and James Dempsey's new
book gives sobering background on the "USA Patriot Act" and
on America's habit of sacrificing civil liberties in the name of national
Crumbling Wall of Church-State Separation
(October 29, 2003) - Why the Pledge of Allegiance case
is not the most important church-state issue before the Supreme Court
in the 2003 term.
Miracle: Film Censorship and
the Entanglement of Church and State
(October 2003) - How the Catholic Church pressured New
York State into banning a short Italian film in 1951, leading to a major
Supreme Court case and reflecting church-state problems that plague American
politics to this day.
Expression in Arts Funding: A Public Policy Report
(2003) - A survey of free-expression policies among state
and local arts agencies, including ways of anticipating and dealing with
attacks on controversial art. Includes background on the arts funding
wars of the 1990s, and candid interviews with agency officials.