Alabama Library Association
Intellectual Freedom Committee To Host Discussion On Censorship In Our
Charles Suhor, Independent Scholar and member of the Alabama Humanities
Foundation Speakers Bureau, presents “Literature in Crisis – Challenged
Books” on September 29, 2006 at 11:30 a.m. at the Birmingham Public
Library (Arrington Auditorium).
Teaching the enjoyment and appreciation of literature has long been a
cornerstone of education. But challenges to literary works -- from
Shakespeare to Steinbeck to contemporary writers like Toni Morrison and
R.K Rowling -- have grown dramatically, placing this precious part of
our cultural heritage in real jeopardy.
Drawing on decades of experience as a censorship consultant, Dr. Charles
Suhor will explore this problem in terms of major literary, educational,
and social trends -- the development of young adult (YA) literature; the
study of realistic and multi-ethnic contemporary works that include
sexual content and profanity; the growth of organized resistance groups
(e.g., PABBIS, Parents Against Bad Books in Schools); and the ways in
which conflicts over what should be taught have been worked out in the
real world of teachers, students, parents, and school administrations.
Recent cases will be described, including Alabama challenges.
The presenter will make use of overhead projector transparencies.
Audience comments and questions will be encouraged. This presentation is
part of the Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF) 2005-2006 Speaker in the
Charles Suhor was born in New Orleans, where he attended public
elementary and high schools. He received a B.A. degree from Loyola, an
M.A. from Catholic University, and a Ph.D. from Florida State, all in
English Education. He was a high school English teacher and English
Supervisor in New Orleans Public Schools for twenty years and
subsequently was Deputy Executive Director of the National Council of
Teachers of English in Urbana, Illinois. There he played a key role in
developing the Council's anti-censorship program. Since semi-retirement
in 1997, he has conducted the nationwide program from his home in
Dr. Suhor has written several literature and composition textbooks and
numerous articles on English teaching, censorship, and interdisciplinary
topics for English Journal, Language Arts, Educational Leadership, Phi
Delta Kappan, and others. He has conducted education workshops on
literature, composition, and peak experiences in teaching and learning.
Dr. Suhor's recent activities in addition to censorship work have been
wide-ranging. He has collaborated with pianist Ellis Marsalis on
programs that show connections between jazz improvisation and everyday
language. He performs with The Jazz and Poetry Connection, a cooperative
of poets and musicians that has appeared in seven states. He has taught
jazz history at Auburn University's Montgomery campus and written an
award-winning history of jazz in postwar New Orleans. His current
projects include editing his late son's writings preparing an anthology
The Alabama Humanities Foundation is a nonprofit organization funded by
the National Endowment for the Humanities (of which the AHF is the state
affiliate), as well as by corporate and individual donors. The
Foundation is dedicated to the promotion and celebration of the
humanities throughout the state of Alabama and, to that end, conducts
its own statewide programs and awards grants, on a competitive basis, to
nonprofit organizations for humanities projects. For more information on
Speaker in the House or other AHF programs, please call (205) 558-3980.
For more information about this program, please call Pamela Lyons at