Students in Dr. Scahill's "Studies in Censorship" class presented their original research on the very timely topic of art censorship on Wednesday, May 2 in the Auraria Library. By presenting their works-in-progress in a public forum, students considering graduate study were able to experience a conference format in a supportive environment.
The topics included literature as well as film, and the issues concerning political dissent, sexuality, public space, and free speech proved as timely as ever. Sam LaPera presented "The Graphic Novel That Was Too Graphic," concerning a banned graphic novel that depicts child sexual abuse explicitly and without the safety of worn narratives about child endangerment. Mark Garrett presented on the Iranian film This is Not a Film, in which dissident director Jafar Panahi created a documentary about the film he was unable to make to call international attention to his plight. Finally, Amber Sullivan took a serious look at the strange world of Japanese tentacle porn, a manga genre originally created to circumvent Japanese pornography laws, but one that provides a space for feminist and anti-colonialist critique. Afterwards, the three presenters held a Q&A with the audience about censorship in the 21st century.