CFP: [American] Obscenity Law and Censorship in the U.S. South

full name / name of organization: 
Barbara Ladd
contact email: 
barbara.ladd@emory.edu

OBSCENITY LAW AND CENSORSHIP IN THE (U.S.) SOUTH
MODERN LANGUGE ASSOCIATION, DEC. 27-30, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO

For this MLA 2008 panel, papers sought on the nature and impact of
censorship and/or obscenity law and practice on cultural expression
(public and private speech, writing, film, music, photography, other
performances) in the U.S. South, or in material dealing with the South,
from the colonial period to the present.

In 1873, the Comstock Law was passed and subsequent practice prohibited
sending “obscene” materials through the mails, including information
about birth control. Until Roth v. U.S. (1957), the obscene was taken to
be material that could “deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to
such immoral influences,” but with the 1957 decision in Roth, the obscene
was redefined to cover material whose “dominant theme. . .
appeals to prurient interests,” with community standards to be the
measuring stick. Since that time, there have been repeated challenges to
obscenity law and repeated revisions and clarifications. Communities
themselves have often acted as effective censors quite apart from
obscenity laws.

Please send 300-word abstracts along with any requests for a-v support by
1 March to Barbara Ladd (Barbara.ladd_at_emory.edu). Preliminary inquiries
welcome. This MLA 2008 session is sponsored by the Society for the Study
of Southern Literature.

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Received on Wed Jan 16 2008 - 13:01:39 EST

cfp categories: 
american