FSEM 1111, Section 10
W. Scott Howard
Days/Times: M & W 8:00-9:50 Department of English, SH 387-E
Location: SH 258 showard@du.edu
Fall Quarter, 2007 http://mysite.du.edu/~showard/


FIRST YEAR SEMINAR:
CENSORSHIP, FREE SPEECH, AND LITERATURE


Course URL:
http://mysite.du.edu/~showard/F07.FSEM.1111.html


Course Description:

For twenty-four years, several national associations (including the American Library Association) have sponsored Banned Books Week in celebration of the freedom to read.  This event usually occurs during either the last week in September or the first week of October, thus affording a timely opportunity for students in their first quarter at DU to engage in a vital examination of First Amendment issues on the page, in the classroom, on the WWW, and in Denver.  Students enrolled in this First Year Seminar will become active participants in local and national events that contribute to Banned Books Week.  The course will combine on- and off-campus field trips (to local libraries and booksellers) with reading, writing, discussion, and research activities designed to integrate the experience of Banned Books Week with a cultural investigation of the dynamic relationship among censorship, free speech, and literary discourse (in England and the US) from the seventeenth century to the present.  Students will work individually, in groups, and collectively as citizens as they engage with research projects that will connect the classroom to the world-at-large.  The seminar will also provide individualized academic advising as part of a robust introduction to campus resources and the intellectual community at DU.  Censorship and free speech are potentially vast interdisciplinary subjects of study.  This course will therefore necessarily focus the scope of inquiry upon the various ways in which literary texts engage with those freedoms devised and defended by The First Amendment of The Bill of Rights to The United States Constitution:


CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF; OR ABRIDGING THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, OR OF THE PRESS; OR THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE PEACEABLY TO ASSEMBLE, AND TO PETITION THE GOVERNMENT FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES.


Banned Books Week (September 29-October 6) will serve as our gateway into current events and social discourses touching upon a series of inter-related issues and topics, such as: constructions of and challenges to The First Amendment from Milton to modernity; case studies (local and global) of book banning from, for example, Photo Novellas (Denver, 2006) to The Talmud (Paris, 1144); The USA Patriot Act and civil liberties post- 9/11; and The Freedom to Read Protection Act.


Texts:
Chang, Nancy.  Silencing Political Dissent: How Post-September 11 Anti-Terrorism Measures Threaten Our Civil Liberties.
  New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002.
ISBN: 1583224947; $9.95.


Doyle, Robert P.  2007 Banned Books Resource Guide.  Chicago: American Library Association, 2007.
ISBN: 0838984258; $25.00.

Falkoff, Marc, ed.  Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak.  Iowa City: University of Iowa Press,
2007.
ISBN: 1587296063; $13.95.


Karolides, Nicholas J., Margaret Bald, and Dawn B. Sova.  100 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of
World Literature.  New York: Checkmark Books, 1999.
ISBN: 0816040591; $18.95.


Noble, William.  Book Banning in America: Who Bans Books?—And Why?  Middlebury: Eriksson Press,
1992.
ISBN: 083971081X; $14.95.


Additional Texts and Other Resources:
  1. Working from the current ALA (American Library Association) list, The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books, 1990-2000, http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/bbwlinks/100mostfrequently.htm, as well as from Robert Doyle’s Banned Books: 2007 Resource Guide, students will be required to select and purchase one literary work for a research project.

 

  1. On-Line resources, including:

 

 

  1. On-Line texts, such as: Milton’s “Areopagitica”, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/areopagitica/index.shtml; and Vincent Blasi’s accompanying essay, “Milton’s Areopagitica & the Modern First Amendment”, http://www.law.yale.edu/documents/pdf/Milton.pdf.

 

  1. Photocopied articles, book chapters, and essays (TBA).

 

  1. Documentaries and films (TBA).


Method of Evaluation & Grading:
9 Informal Essays* (500-words each, or TBA): 60%
1 ALA Book Project and Presentation: 40%
* The first two of these essays will be submitted during Discoveries Week.


Note on attendance:
For each unexcused absence the student’s overall grade in the class will be diminished by -0.5.


Note on essays:
Unless otherwise specified, all essays are due at the beginning of class in hard copy form: typed, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, pages stapled.  Papers that do not conform to these guidelines will be considered late.  Work submitted late will receive a deduction of -0.5 per day.


Note on grading:
The Check System.  I’ll be grading your informal essays with a check system that will follow these guidelines: A check plus on all your essays will translate into a grade of 4.0/A for that percentage of your overall grade in the course.  Each check on an essay will reduce your grade for that component of your overall grade in the course by -0.5.  Each check minus, by -1.0; each missing essay, by -2.0.  If you ever receive less than a check plus on one of the essays, you will have the option to revise and resubmit the essay for a higher grade.  Those revisions will be due by the beginning of the next class meeting.  Your other assignments will receive letter grades.


Note on plagiarism:
Students are expected to submit original work for all assignments.  Plagiarism will not be tolerated and will result in an automatic F in the course.


Calendar (subject to changes):

Week 1                  Defending The First Amendment: Libraries, Authors & Booksellers

M 9/10                    Listening: The Clash, “Know Your Rights”

                                Viewing: Reading Your Rights (documentary film)

Reading: ALA http://www.ala.org/; ALA, Intellectual Freedom Basics http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/basics/Default2272.htm; ALA, Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

Q & A http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/basics/intellectual.htm; The Bill of Rights, http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/funddocs/billeng.htm; ALA, First Amendment
                http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/firstamendment/firstamendment.htm; FindLaw, Freedom of Expression, http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/constitution/amendment01/06.html#1;

ABFFE http://www.abffe.org/; American Booksellers Association, http://www.bookweb.org/; PEN American Center, http://www.pen.org/; and Doyle

Research: ALA Book Orders

Assessment: University of Denver RCI http://www.du.edu/rci/ (issues/thinking)

 

W 9/12                   Writing: Essay #3 Due                               

Reading: ALA http://www.ala.org/; ALA, Intellectual Freedom Basics http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/basics/Default2272.htm; ALA, Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

Q & A http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/basics/intellectual.htm; The Bill of Rights, http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/funddocs/billeng.htm; ALA, First Amendment
                http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/firstamendment/firstamendment.htm; FindLaw, Freedom of Expression, http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/constitution/amendment01/06.html#1;

                                ABFFE http://www.abffe.org/; American Booksellers Association, http://www.bookweb.org/; PEN American Center, http://www.pen.org/; and Doyle

Research: ALA Book Orders

Assessment: University of Denver RCI http://www.du.edu/rci/ (issues/thinking)


Week 2                  Defending The First Amendment: Milton & Modernity

M 9/17                    Reading: Milton, “Areopagitica”,

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/areopagitica/index.shtml; Blasi,

Milton’s Areopagitica & the Modern First Amendment”, http://www.law.yale.edu/documents/pdf/Milton.pdf; Other Texts TBA

Assessment: University of Denver RCI http://www.du.edu/rci/ (issues/thinking)

 

W 9/19                   Reading: Milton, “Areopagitica”,

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/areopagitica/index.shtml; Blasi,

Milton’s Areopagitica & the Modern First Amendment”, http://www.law.yale.edu/documents/pdf/Milton.pdf; Other Texts TBA

Assessment: University of Denver RCI http://www.du.edu/rci/ (issues/thinking)


Week 3                  Book Banning: Case Studies #1, Local & National
M 9/24                   
Reading: Doyle; Karolides, Bald & Sova; Noble; Other Texts TBA

W 9/26                   Writing: Essay #4 Due

                                Reading:
Doyle; Karolides, Bald & Sova; Noble; Other Texts TBA


Banned Books Week: 9/29-10/6

Week 4                  Book Banning: Case Studies #2, Global

M 10/1                    No Meeting

Reading: Index Librorum Prohibitorum,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_Librorum_Prohibitorum; Doyle; Karolides, Bald & Sova; Noble; Other Texts TBA


W 10/3                   Writing: Essay #5, discussion                  

Reading: Index Librorum Prohibitorum,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_Librorum_Prohibitorum; Doyle; Karolides, Bald & Sova; Noble; Other Texts TBA 


Week 5                  Reading the Archives: Penrose and Westminster Libraries
M 10/8                   
Writing: Essay #5 Due
                                Reading
: Texts TBA

Field Trip: Penrose Library, DU, http://www.penlib.du.edu/


W 10/10                 Reading: Texts TBA

Field Trip: Westminster Law Library, DU, http://law.du.edu/library/


Week 6                  Cultural Contexts #1: The USA Patriot Act (HR 3162) & The First Amendment
M 10/15                  

Reading: The USA Patriot Act (HR 3162),

http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/hr3162.html; The Campaign for Reader Privacy, http://www.readerPrivacy.org/; The Freedom to Read Protection Act (HR 1157), http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2003_cr/hr1157.html; Other Texts TBA; Chang

Viewing: Fahrenheit 9/11


W 10/17                
Writing: Essay #6 Due
                                Reading:
The USA Patriot Act (HR 3162),

http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/hr3162.html; The Campaign for Reader Privacy, http://www.readerPrivacy.org/; The Freedom to Read Protection Act (HR 1157), http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2003_cr/hr1157.html; Other Texts TBA; Chang

Viewing: Fahrenheit 9/11; and Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties


Week 7                  Cultural Contexts #2: Civil Liberties Post-9/11 (at home)
M 10/22                  Writing: Essay #7 Due

Reading: Chang; Other Texts TBA

Viewing: Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties; Outfoxed; and Waking Life

 

W 10/24                 Reading: Chang; Other Texts TBA

Viewing: Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties; Outfoxed; and Waking Life

                                Dining: Chancellor’s Dinner, 6:00-8:00, Gottesfeld Room, Ritchie Center, 4th Floor


Week 8                  Cultural Contexts #3: Civil Liberties Post-9/11 (abroad)
M 10/29                  Writing: Essay #8 Due
                                Reading: Chang; Falkoff; Other Texts TBA;
“Habeas Corpus”, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habeas_corpus

                                Listening: This American Life, “Habeas Schmabeas”,

http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=331

Viewing: Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War

 

W 10/31                 Reading: Chang; Falkoff; Other Texts TBA; “Habeas Corpus”, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habeas_corpus

                                Listening: This American Life, “Habeas Schmabeas”,

http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=331

Viewing: Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War


Week 9                  Presentations #1: ALA Books
M 11/5                    Writing: Essay #9 Due
                                Presenting:
ALA Book Projects and Presentations

 

W 11/8                   Presenting: ALA Book Projects and Presentations


Week 10               Presentations #2: ALA Books
M 11/12                  Presenting:
ALA Book Projects and Presentations

W 11/14                
Presenting: ALA Book Projects and Presentations

F   11/16                 Writing: ALA Book Projects Due, 12:00, SH 387-E


Final Examinations:  11/17-11/20