Censorship can be defined as “the suppression of speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions” (Wikipedia). In the context of taboo, censorship may be used to hide unpalatable truths, protect people’s cultural sensibilities, or endorse a political point of view at the expense of a cultural or social reality. 

To find out more about censorship throughout time and space, you can go back to the start of the 20th Century by looking at censored photographs from WW1. Why you think these photos were censored? What cultural ‘taboos’ underpinned the censoring. Once you have done that, read one or two of the other articles from this list:

  • Censored Photographs
  • On Chicago Public Schools Censoring Persepolis
  • No Words Should Be Banned
  • Banned From the Classroom: Catcher in the Rye

Learner Portfolio

Imagine one of the texts on your language or literature course (past or present) has been censored because of content deemed inappropriate to study in school, or because of your age. This could be on grounds of sexual content, religious content, depictions of violence or death, or even profanity.

Write an imaginary letter to your school principal, arguing for the reinstatement of this text. Counter the reasons it has been censored, as well as arguing for its literary and artistic merit.


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