The English Book Club
The English Book Club

Banned books day—a forum by “Banned Books: Exploring Contested Literature” x PADERBORN2READ

Paderborn University students exploring banned and challenged books in a seminar lead by club members Andrea and Beth are collaborating with PADERBORN2READ—The English Book Club to organize an event all about contested literature, the cultural and political discourses at work and the ethical dimensions of book censorship and banning. We are looking forward to this collaboration and to creating awareness for banned books!

Challenging, banning, or even burning books is nothing new. What is new—and very troubling—is the dramatic increase in the number of books that are currently being contested, particularly in America. The American Library Association reports a 70 % increase between 2021 and 2022 in book challenges. This trend should concern all lovers of literature and defenders of free speech. Banned books are silenced voices, and banning books closes off the important discursive spaces where we can engage in meaningful dialogue about the issues raised in those books. Let us open those spaces and start a conversation!

January 26, 2024

2.005.00 p.m.

J4.219 & J4.319

Opening (2.002.15 p.m.)

PADERBORN2READ Red List & Contested Literature Exhibition (2.152.45 p.m.)

A red list will name every banned or challenged book PADERBORN2READ has discussed so far. Alongside the list, a book exhibition will provide an opportunity to look at those contested texts. The list and exhibition will be open all afternoon, a half-hour focus session at 2.15 p.m. will provide additional information researched by club member Maty.

Student Projects Exhibition (2.453.45 p.m.)

An interactive exhibition will be showcasing student projects from the seminar “Banned Books: Exploring Contested Literature”. The exhibition will be open all afternoon, a one-hour focus session at 2.45 p.m. will provide an opportunity to listen to students’ presentations of their projects and engage in games and quizzes.

Banned Book Quiz (3.454.15 p.m.)

To keep serious matters light-hearted enough, club member Eleonore will be conducting a quiz on banned and challenged books including some fun and not-so-fun facts and fascinating trivia.

Open Discussion Forums (4.154.45 p.m.)

The event’s main goal is to create room for discussion about banned books. To achieve this, club members Andrea, Delia, and Ronja will be leading discussion forums on various aspects of book censorship and banning.

A “‘None of these people making banned books lists actually read’—is it really about the text?”
B “‘Correcting’ children’s stories—necessary sensitivity or cancelled historicity?”
C “Cancel culture—another form of banning?”

Closing (4.455.00 p.m.)

We invite all book defenders and discussants to join us for single activities or for the whole banned books day!

“Banned Books: Exploring Contested Literature” x PADERBORN2READ—The English Book Club

Banned Books Day

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