© 2014 Valerie Dionne

Theme at Colby College for 2013-2014 : Censorship Uncovered

Censorship Uncovered, the annual humanities theme for 2013-14, is a year long, campus-wide initiative designed to foster interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration. Through course work, performances, lectures, film screenings, exhibitions, and collegial conversation, Colby students, faculty, and staff across a broad range of disciplines and with widely varying perspectives will explore the fraught and provocative themes of censorship and free speech.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948 declares: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Nevertheless, freedom of speech and expression is still contested around the globe. Why do governments, institutions, and individuals censor, and what happens when voices are stifled? What (if any) limits should there be on our access to information? How do we know what information is being censored, and why does it matter? Uncovering censorship in its many forms will help us consider these questions and, in the process, better understand other cultures as well as our own.

I want to thank all the students who participated to this blog, also Lauren Lessing and Matt Timme for their help with the two blog classes.


Valérie M. Dionne

Associate professor at Colby College