URI offers forum on censorship in the arts, academia, politics

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 15, 2004 — The University of Rhode Island will offer a forum on censorship in the arts, academia, and politics on Tuesday, Nov. 16 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The forum, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Biological Sciences Building auditorium on URI’s Kingston Campus.

Brian Gallagher, who teaches Library 120: Introduction to Information Literacy classes at the University of Rhode Island, organized the forum to provide awareness on how information can be hidden or stolen.

Three panelists representing elements of society often subject to censorship–academia, the arts, and politics—will speak. They are:

• Steven Brown, executive director, Rhode Island affiliate, American Civil Liberties Union

• Umberto Crenca, artistic director, AS220

• Donna Hughes, professor and Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson Endowed Chair, URI Women’s Studies Program.

“The importance of this forum is to draw attention to interference, to acknowledge censorship’s existence and not to take the thefts it perpetuates for granted,” says Gallagher who encourages his students to think about all types of censorship. “I want them to broaden their definition and think about how they might censor themselves. For example, I want them to realize that something like not voting is an act of censorship.”