Teaching Censorship

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As I write, there’s a lot in the news about gagging.  USDA scientists were put on “lockdown” and ordered not to release any public-facing documents or social media posts (a rule quickly reversed).  The reinstatement of the “global gag” will stop foreign organizations that receive US aid from discussing abortion with women, even in countries where those abortions are legal.  All of this has me thinking about censorship.


Torie Rose DeGhett, in “The War Photo No One Would Publish,” focuses specifically on issues of censorship by tracing the publication history (and lack thereof) of a very graphic war photo.  It’s a great primer on these issues, particularly as it is nuanced in its exploration.  Peter Singer’s “Visible Man: Ethics in a World Without Secrets” is a good complement for DeGhett ,since Singer moves towards avenues of action in his exploration of “sousveillance.”  Both would work well in a sequence on the consequences of restricting information.

About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.