Opening thoughts:

The focus of my research for this project is the issue intellectual freedom, and the threats to freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry that have arisen in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Specifically, I’m interested in the ways that these phenomena have affected American libraries.

In some cases, the threats to intellectual freedom have involved outright censorship – i.e. the removal of materials from government websites, attempts to re-classify previously unclassified or declassified materials. In other cases, the threats are more subtle, involving self-censorship, and the avoidance of topics of inquiry that might trigger unwelcome and unwarranted scrutiny by law enforcement or intelligence services.

I’m going to begin, therefore, by attempting to track instances of censorship, self-censorship, surveillance, stifling of debate and inquiry, and general repression of intellectual freedom over the past several years. I will rely mainly on press reports, investigative journalism pieces, scholarly analyses, as well as opinion pieces and other interventions by civil libertarians and concerned activists.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Patriot Act and Libraries

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