Submitting Presentation Proposals for Library 2.023: Banned Books and Censorship: Current Intellectual Freedom Issues in the Library.

Panel Title: The Politics of Nativist Censorship Efforts: Today’s Right Wing “Culture War” and Lessons from Previous Historical Movements


Your Name and Title:

Andrew B. Wertheimer, Ph.D.  Associate Professor of Library and Information Science

Library, School, or Organization Name:

Library and Information Science Program, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Co-Presenter Name(s):  N/A

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Hawaiʻi (actually I will be in Japan that week)

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): General/ Academic

Short Session Description (one line):

Library historian Andrew Wertheimer will show us the long history of past censorship efforts in America and how they were overcome, focusing on political contexts. 

Learning from Political Contexts for Nativist Censorship in the US

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

Intellectual freedom education in the long era of “library neutrality” often failed to look at political causes for censorship in an effort to remain safely apolitical. Instead it focused on professional techniques of defending intellectual freedom challenges regardless whether from the right or left. This narrow viewpoint cannot help us cope with today’s massive attack on libraries and intellectual freedom from right wing pressure groups. This presentation will help us understand the current effort by looking at who is behind culture wars. Nativist censorship campaigns are often presented as organic grassroots movements without much political investigation. Library historian Andrew Wertheimer (Associate Professor, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa LIS Program) will explore some questions about how and why culture wars are fought. He will examine the situation today and also highlight previous historical periods in which right wing pressure was applied to libraries and society at large – often with undeclared Nativist agenda, and how these movements were overcome. 

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