CFP: Forbidden Access: Censoring Books and Archives

6-7 November 2014, Senate House, University of London

A collaboration between the Institute of English Studies, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Senate House Library.



‘Forbidden Access’ is a multidisciplinary conference exploring how published works and archival materials and the ideas contained in them are affected, obscured or distorted by censorship.

The conference seeks to explore the proliferating and divisive causes, symptoms and effects of the censoring impulse, from overt interference with a text to the subtler, intangible effects of caution and fear in the face of anticipated control, and to do so in relation to a variety of angles and contexts: aesthetic, cultural, socio-economic, ideological, legal, and political.
Proposals for 20 minute papers on censorship without restriction as to historical period or place are invited from historians, book historians, lawyers, legal historians, biographers, librarians, archivists and literary scholars on any aspect of the power of censorship, including, though not limited to:

* Direct state intervention in published expression
* Covert and direct censorship in the library and archive
* Self-censorship
* The role of the publisher in enforcing, testing or resisting censorship
* The effects of legislation, from the Obscene Publications Acts to the Terrorism Act
* Censorship and the legal protection of rights of freedom of expression and information
* Resistance from libertarians, campaigning groups and NGOs
* Suppression of materials through religious and cultural sensitivity
* Potential for creatively positive effects of writing to avoid the attention of the censor
* Reputational elevation of writers through their censored status

Please send paper proposals or 300 words max. plus a short biography to<> no later than 2 June 2014.