Robert Darnton

2016 Walter A. Strauss Lecture – Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature

The difficulty with the history of censorship is that it looks so simple: It pits oppression against freedom of expression. But if one looks harder, it appears more complicated—and full of surprises.

How did censors actually do their work? How did they understand it? And how did it fit into the surrounding social and political context?

Robert DarntonIn a lecture hosted by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, Robert Darnton, the Pforzheimer University Professor and University Librarian Emeritus at Harvard University, will discuss these questions by studying the day-to-day operations of censors under three authoritarian regimes: Bourbon France in the 18th century, British India in the 19th century, and Communist East Germany in the 20th century.

His lecture will be held Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 5 to 6 p.m. in Tinkham Veale University Center ballroom C.

This lecture, in memory of Walter A. Strauss (1923-2008), who was the Elizabeth and William T. Treuhaft Professor of Humanities, is supported by funds provided by the Paul Wurzburger Endowment.

This lecture is free and open to the Public. Registration is recommended and available online.