University students, faculty and staff, and area citizens will celebrate the right to read and think freely during the 19th annual UT Banned Books Week Vigil Thursday, Sept. 29, on the fifth floor of Carlson Library.
The free, public event will begin at 9 a.m. and run until 5 p.m. Throughout the day, 20-minute presentations will focus on censorship and the importance of freedom of expression.
All day, free snacks and light refreshments will be available, and door prizes — including donated banned books and UT items — will be given out to make the event fun as well as educational for the audience.
UT faculty and area teachers are invited to bring classes; attendance vouchers will be available at the freedom of expression festival.
“I hope the UT Banned Books Week Vigil raises awareness of the importance of reading to our democracy,” Dr. Paulette D. Kilmer, UT professor of communication, who coordinates the event, said. “Without reading freely, citizens could not think freely and, therein, would not ask the questions that lead to reform and a better nation. I hope the event gives students a fun break from their routines and enlarges their understanding of the First Amendment.”
Topics and speakers for the event will be:
• 9 a.m. — “Read On, Everybody! Welcome to Our Annual Celebration of Free Inquiry” by Barbara Floyd, interim director of University Libraries and director of the UT Press, and Dr. Jeffrey Wilkinson, professor and chair of communication.
• 9:30 a.m. — “Free Expression and the Inside-Out Prison Exchange” by Emily Numbers, community and public relations specialist in the College of Engineering, and community art coordinator.
• 10 a.m. — “Stereotyping Indigenous Peoples in Children’s Books” by Dr. Sharon Barnes, associate professor of women’s and gender studies.
• 10:30 a.m. — “Censorship and Media Ethics” by Sarah Ottney, former editor of the Toledo Free Press, which closed in 2015.
• 11 a.m. — “The Not-So-Free Press: Global Media Troubles,” Arjun Sabharwal, associate professor and digital initiatives librarian.
• 11:30 a.m. — “W.W. III: The War Against Women” by Warren Woodberry, Toledo author.
• Noon — The Dr. Linda Smith Lecture: “Owning the Words: Intellectual Property, First Amendment Law, and the Parlous State of Free Speech” by Dr. Sam Nelson, associate professor and chair of political science and public administration.
• 1 p.m. — “Lifting the Veil: Banning the Graphic Novel Persepolis” by Dr. Matt Yockey, associate professor of theatre and film.
• 1:30 p.m. — “Revealing the Hidden Rules of Broadcast News” by Lou Hebert, Toledo broadcaster and historian.
• 2 p.m. — “Words” By Dr. David Tucker, professor of communication.
• 2:30 p.m. — “Oops! When lol Posts Backfire” by Jessica Harker, editor-in-chief of The Independent Collegian.
• 3 p.m. — “Jeopardy!” led by The Independent Collegian staff.
• 3:30 p.m. — “The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs,” an episode of “South Park” in which J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is revisited.
• 4 p.m. — “What? Can You Teach THAT?” by Cindy Ramirez, Bedford High School English teacher.
• 4:30 p.m. — “Banned Songs” by Dr. Edmund Lingan, associate professor and chair of theatre and film.
Kilmer said this Banned Books Week Vigil would not be possible without help form generous sponsors: Ann Lumbrezer; Aramark; Barry’s Bagels; The Independent Collegian; Lambda Pi Eta, UT Communication Honor Society; UT Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America; Mitchell and Kelley Auctioneers; New Sins Press; Phoenicia Cuisine; Barnes & Noble University Bookstore; UT Campus Activities and Programming; UT Center for Experiential Learning and Career Development; UT Counseling Center; UT College of Arts and Letters; UT Jesup Scott Honors College; UT Department of Art; UT Department of Communication; UT Department of English Languages and Literature; UT Office of Multicultural Student Success; UT Federal Credit Union; UT Toledo Friends of the Library Foundation; UT Foreign Languages Department; UT General Libraries; UT Greek Life; UT Marketing and Communications Office; UT Office of the Dean of Students; UT Student Government; UT Theatre and Film Department; UT Starbuck’s; UT School of Visual and Performing Arts; and WXUT radio station. She added a special thanks to the UT Office of the President and the Office of the Provost.