To Deprave and Corrupt: Forbidden, Hidden and Censored Books
The Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand (BSANZ) 2010 conference
Books have long attracted an array of legal, religious and cultural prohibitions. Most spectacularly, specific books have been decried, seized and publicly destroyed by state and religious institutions. Likewise, there is a long history of conflict over the availability and matter of children's and young adult literature. But 21st-century prohibitions also extend well beyond fiction genres, with anti-terrorism legislation and bans on euthanasia criminalising possession and sale of specific 'how-to' handbooks, or even their consultation in academic research libraries.
More pervasively, books have been subject to textual interventions that effect censorship by comparatively subtle means. There is also a wide variety of mechanisms by which certain books become hidden. Publishers, librarians and readers may themselves actively collude in obscuring practices.
But in a world of textual abundance, and with the growing penetration of algorithmic search-engines, can any book remain hidden for long? As the legal jurisdiction of the nation-state struggles to combat piracy and grass-roots file-sharing, as individual activist and corporate mass-scanning projects deliver prohibited texts virtually, and online book retailers offer an ever-growing 'long tail' of globally-sourced book titles, strategies for both prohibiting and evading prohibition are clearly in a critical state of flux.
Wednesday 14 – Friday 16 July 2010
- Rare Books Room, Matheson Library, Monash University, Clayton Campus
- The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas at The State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
- Professor Jenny Hocking (National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University), author of Frank Hardy: Politics Literature Life (2005) Terror Laws: ASIO, Counter-terrorism and the Threat to Democracy (2004)
- Assocciate Professor Caroline Breashears (St Lawrence University, USA)
- Donald McDonald AC (Director, Classification Board)
- Kevin Patrick (Monash University and Curator of the State Library of Victoria exhibition 'Heroes & Villains: Australian Comics and their Creators')
Thursday 15 July 2010
University House, University of Melbourne
After-dinner speaker: Gonzo Heyglemeyer (aka Paul Elliott) former proprietor of Polyester Books, Melbourne
Recordings of papers are available from the links below. For more recordings from our School, see our podcasting page.To Deprave and Corrupt enquires
- Dr Simone Murray Director, Centre for the Book
- Dr Patrick Spedding Associate Director, Centre for the Book
This conference is staged in partnership with The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas at The State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
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