Banned Books Week, Day 5

The NCTE blog for 12 September 2018 provides this list of authors whose books have been challenged as part of AP high school curriculums:

These authors have written books everyone should read, books that address such topics as sexuality, politics, racism, sexism, colonialist history, and anti-immigrant exclusion laws, forcing readers to recognize our complicity in letting certain practices and beliefs continue. Teachers often find themselves on the receiving end of complaints about the books students are asked/required to read.

Fortunately for teachers, NCTE provides support for those wishing to include controversial books on their reading lists. Their Intellectual Freedom Center shows the ways they help all English teachers fight censorship.

John Singer Sargent, Madame X, 1884, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Today’s featured artists: all painters, sculptors, photographers and printmakers whose works have drawn demands they be removed from view. The Huffington Post lists some of these works here, beginning with Michelangelo’s ceiling painting in the Sistine Chapel. Lots of trigger topics (nudity, religion, the US flag), but violence and war don’t seem to make the list. Weird, eh?

That portrait to the right is John Singer Sargent’s Madame X (portrait of Madame Pierre Gautreau). You may know the story: the original version showed the gown’s right strap dropped below Ms. G’s shoulder, which caused an uproar when it was exhibited at the 1884 Paris Salon. Sargent revised his portrait, putting the strap in its proper position, where we see it today. But if you look closely, you can see the ghost of the original strap in the discoloration on Mme G’s upper arm.

Tomorrow: diversity (authors and characters)

About Lizzie Ross

in no particular order: author, teacher, cyclist, world traveler, single parent. oh, and i read. a lot.
This entry was posted in Banned/Challenged Books, Teaching Banned Books and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Banned Books Week, Day 5

  1. colonialist says:

    Pity Sargent didn’t simply tell them to go and wash their minds out with strong detergent.

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