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Banned Books Week: Chuck Jackson, Professor Creating Change

How does culture ban books for some? And, more importantly, how can we un-ban them?


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Chuck Jackson
Chuck Jackson

Chuck Jackson, Associate Professor of English at the University of Houston – Downtown, talks about a another kind of book banning: the kind that happens through what he calls a “culture of disallow” – that is, a culture that prevents some people from reading. While some kids in the US are busily devouring serialized books like Harry Potter, others have no relationship to books and reading at all. What creates these conditions? Where did it start? How do technology, classroom size, and teaching to standardized tests contribute to the issue? Chuck explores these questions and why answers to the questions matter. And he proffers a disarmingly simple solution for un-banning books for everyone.

Since Banned Books Week started in 1982, according to the Banned Books Week Coalition, more than 11,300 books have been challenged in the US. To bring awareness to this fact, from September 25th through October 1, individuals, bookstores, and organizations across the United States will celebrate intellectual freedom and the freedom to read.

Houston Public Media is marking Banned Books Week 2016 with a digital series of interviews. Librarians, writers, professors, and activists will talk about the topic from a variety of viewpoints. To find out more about Banned Books Week activities in the Houston area and elsewhere, go here.

Many thanks to audio producer Todd Hulslander for his help with this series.

This BBW mini-series is part of Writing the City, an occasional audio series about writers and writing.

Banned Books Week