Spring 2018 Course

A COPLAC Digital Distance Learning Course

Author: Robert BlueBack (page 1 of 2)

Defense of Contract

We are at the conclusion of the class, as this semester comes to a close, this will be my final post for the class.

Firstly to reiterate the mission statement of our contract.

The purpose of this site is to educate the masses on the historical 1960 banning of J.D. Salinger’s book Catcher in the Rye. The book itself was challenged on the grounds of profanity and the high school instructor was removed from the position afterwards, although this is often considered to be one of the first bannings of the book, we are going to use national context to aid the reader on why the book was banned. As we explore the banning we will take several viewpoints, stemming from sociology to the political action taken after the banning. We plan on using this site to target University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma students as well as those interested in censorship.

Sociological View: 

Although, I was unable to find direct research correlated with The Catcher in the Rye, and the three sociological theories presented on Catching Thier Ire. Though to the best of my ability I was able to, the interpretation of the case through functionalism, symbolic-interaction theory, and conflict theory.

Functionalism:

Aforementioned, I could not find any research that correlated this theory with functionalism, thus I had to interpret the case myself with my little granule of knowledge of the functionalist theory. The most troubling part of this section was deciding how did the banning fit into the theory, and I had initially thought it could be viewed as an agent of change. However, it seemed that the banning fits better within the theory, as an idea for keeping ideas in check and to safeguard for change.

 Symbolic-Interaction Theory:

Perhaps the easiest of the three theories, the correlation of the theory and banning was much more easier than the others due to this theory focused on the symbols, themes, and motifs in the book.

Conflict Theory: 

Perhaps the hardest of the three theories, I could not decide how to approach the theory and banning. Initially, I could not decide who would be what group, and where was the conflict was but overall, I am happy with its result.

Synopsis:

I had to keep this section shorter than I wanted, due to I was not able to spend as much time reading the text as I wanted, and thus I skimmed Catcher in the Rye, more than I would have liked, and when I sat down to write the page I could not remember as much as I would have liked. Thusly, I kept the page as ‘short and sweet’ as I did and referred to other synopses of the piece.

Biography:

Aside from uploading the wrong draft, the biography of Salinger adequately details the account of his life. It was actually much longer than I expected, I had planned for it to only be two paragraphs, due to how private of a life he lived, but there was a good amount of detail online, and I ultimately did leave some lesser details out.

Site Management: 

The site management was quite easy, we had chosen the Pique theme, which is the theme, I run on my own WordPress site, and once the pages were uploaded, I threw the site together in a little under an hour with no problem, with the exception of the story map size, but after our reviews and advice from Leah that was an easy fix.

Hard Deadline(s):

  • February 28 : Have a completed plan for the website
    • We completed this on schedule
  • March 9 : Complete Interviews of Instructors (Finck, Brown)
    • Completed on schedule and got directed to the other professors on campus
  • March 14 :
    • Synopsis and Biography Completed
      • Completed on Schedule
    • Sociological Context Completed
      • Completed on Schedule and was in an offline doc
  • March 23 : Start Site Draft
    • Completed on schedule
  • March 30 : Fill in noticeable gaps
    • Worked as needed
  • April 6 : Finalize website map and page locations
    • Completed on Schedule
  • April 9 : Rough Draft of Site
    • Completed
  • April 20 : Edit Site
    • Edits were not made till the following week due to finals.
  • April 27 : Finalize edits
    • Completed on Schedule
  • April 30 – Final Draft of Site

Tools: 

WordPress:

This was used and will be used to convey the findings of our research to the public at large

Coggle:

Coggle was a really great tool for planning, out the site overall, and the initial outline of the task we need to complete.

OneNote: 

I find OneNote an invaluable tool as a student, and kept the drafts of my pages in my personal account, although for some reason we were unable to get it to function on Max’s end.

Online Databases:

All the online databases we had access to were quite invaluable, as it allowed us to get the few primary sources we had for the project, aside from the ones that were retrieved from the Tulsa archives.

Progress Report: 004

CENSORSHIP CARTOON, 1929.
Cartoon by Rollin Kirby for the New York ‘World,’ 1929. The Massachusetts book laws and the New England Watch and Ward Society had made ‘Banned in Boston’ a famous phrase throughout the world.

I do apologize for the tardiness for the lateness of this post, for the last week and a half, I have been polishing my latest draft of my creative writing project, which I am proud to say it consists of forty pages. My project covered poetry written in a Native storyteller style, while the rest of it is prewriting of scenes for a dystopic fiction, with a Native protagonist, but enough of my creative writing project.  Over the course of last week, Max and I have been unable to work on the site since our draft has been submitted. However, we did do a few minor edits, we did edit the navigation to make it more intuitive, we are getting rid of the pages that occupied the menus line and are opting for just the drop-down menu. I am also going to try to edit the front page picture for it will be easier to read for  I uploaded the correct biography page for J.D. Salinger, I had previously uploaded my first rough draft of the page. Also, I completely forgot to get something uploaded to my biography section, so I will get that uploaded when I have free time this week or sometime next week. We have now received both feedback from our peers and professors; now Max and I will go through a list comprised from both and complete as much as possible in the next following week before we present at the end of the semester.

Just to clarify from my last post, we did not interview Dr. Anderson, due to the lack of time and we did not want to suddenly drop this on Professor Anderson. Also, the new aspect of the site was typing the content of the clipping of the newspaper and upload them along with pictures of the clipping onto the site.  We are going to try to edit the images and either increase them in size or create PDF versions.

 

Works Cited:

CENSORSHIP CARTOON, 1929. – Cartoon by Rollin Kirby for the New York ‘World,’ 1929. The Massachusetts book laws and the New England Watch and Ward Society had made ‘Banned in Boston’ a famous phrase throughout the world.. Fine Art. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.

Progress Report: 003

I do apologize for the tardiness of this post and of how short it will be, for future note, I do plan for the Defense of Contract post to be quite lengthy. A progress report for these last couple of weeks. Max and I have completed our series of interviews, electing not to go forward with our last interview. The project site is pretty much completed, the last of it is sitting and waiting to be uploaded to WordPress. Although, we have decided on a new aspect of the site that will be needed to be worked on after the rough draft has been presented. Max and I have elected type out each article we have collected, that way when we the newspaper clippings are posted onto the site, the content of the clippings will be searchable. I believe the plan is to have the site ready for review by Friday evening.

The foreseeable problems that I see upcoming is mainly time, this is due to next week is the final week of classes at USAO, and thus as the semester is coming to a close, many of the course projects or research projects I have been conducting are also due. Hence, there will be a lot of late nights for this week and the next. However, I have created a tentative schedule down to the minute, that should keep me on track and have all projects completed.

Discussion: 003

CENSORSHIP CARTOON, 1925. – ‘The Bookworm.’ Cartoon, American, c1925.. Fine Art. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.As refreshing as the trip to the Ozarks was, I am glad to be back to class. I reread Cris Crutcher’s blog post, “How They Do It,” it detailing how a single parent and their usage of vitriolic language and media to remove Cris’ book, Whale Talk, removed from the curriculum of a school that their child did not even attend. The audacity to do so, it is one thing to not let your child attend public school, due to not wanting them to a be exposed to certain elements that perforate the American educations system. Though I would argue that in doing so this is only a debilitation to the offspring, not any kind of boon. However, it is a whole another concept to have a book removed from a curriculum from a school that your child was not enrolled in.  Again, the audacity is mind-boggling. Unfortunately, book censorship is not just censoring the text, book censorship is also the censorship of ideas. A by-product of my upbringing in what would be considered a super-conservative household, even by bible-belt standards, this is absolutely appalling, and although some ideas and books should be censored, such as the teachings of violent groups or their works. Ideas and text should not be censored due to it makes the parents uncomfortable, at the idea of their offspring reading Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, or the Harry Potter series. Books such as these or even the countless classics that have been banned are not benefiting the child of the horrors of the book, it is only stripping them of life lessons, the ability to develop a new passion, or even being able to feel emotional or spiritual relief, that they may not have been able to experience otherwise. While I do not know if this happens to everyone, but for me, books were my safe place, where if I had a terrible day, I could be transported to Hogwarts, Middle-Earth, or Narnia, and escape my woes, if only for a short time. Book and Idea censorship is not only slowly stripping away our right to free speech. Now yes, there is an exception if there is propaganda hate speech or the purpose of the book is to cause incitement, but if a book is banned from a school curriculum because two male penguins are hatching an egg. What benefit is there? These bannings are not stepping stones to building a better society, healing our toxic culture, or better preparing our youth; instead, these bannings are but small steps in a direction of the resurgent of fascism, and state-controlled media. No longer would America, be home of the free and the brave, but instead America would be home of the controlled and confirmed.

 

 

Post-Interview

GW1819, South Africa, Johannesburg: Free the Press censorship Poster- anti apartheid, struggle, media, press.. Graeme Williams/South I apologize for the tardiness of this post, today was more turbulent than expected, and I have just been able to sit down to write this. These last two weeks Max and I have conducted a multitude of interviews, all of them, professors, either at here at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma or Oklahoma City Community College.  We took a multidisciplinary approach on who we interviewed and interviewed two professors from the history department, and three from the English department one of three we have just scheduled to interview at this time of writing.  We interviewed Dr. Finck, the American History professor to gain insight into the political climate of Cold War America and how it would relate to the banning of Catcher in the Rye. While Dr. Finck had not known anything of the Tulsa banning of Catcher, he and his son had planned on reading Catcher rather soon. We also interviewed Dr. Hester, who specializes in Oklahoma History and he stated that he was mostly for free speech, however, in today’s time he now says that with a grain of salt. In addition, to the history professors, we also interviewed two English professors, Dr. Rees and Dr. Brown. Similarly to the history professors both Dr. Rees and Dr. Brown stated that they too support free speech, however, Dr. Rees did give us a very interesting tidbit, that often Catcher is banned for surface reasons, such as profanity, however, Catcher is not banned for any of the motifs or the themes in the book. Finally, the last professor we are planning to interview is Dr. Anderson, she is a literary professor, and we are planning to interview Dr. Anderson later this upcoming week.

Just a quick update since I was not in class today, I fell a little behind on my pages and hopefully I will be back on track later this week. I had been working on my epic for my Native Myth and Writing class, and I got a little too caught up in it.

Discussion: 002

CENSORSHIP: ALLEGORY. – An allegorical representation of censorship. Line engraving, French, after Charles Joseph Travies de Villers (1804-1859). Fine Art. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.

Initially, I was going to post the post-interview weekly post, however, we have several more interviews to conduct beforehand. Over the weekend, I reread the “Death of Native Voices” by Metzger and Kelleher, being a Natives I did not want to speak up when we discussed it in class due to how personal it was. On a side note, I do not refer to Native American as such due to the personal belief that the Native ethnic group should not be named after a European explorer who “discovered” the continent, but I digress. However, I do agree with the point of the article, either in many works, Native Americans are misrepresented or Natives are absent entirely, and I did not think of this until the points were presented in the article. For about a year now I have been worldbuilding for a book I am going to eventually write, and after scrapping my initial work early this last fall. Originally, what I wrote a far more western piece, but my Creative Writing professor at the time (and currently), suggested that I write it from a more Native perspective. To be frank, at the time the only concept I could think of was the stereotype. After the meeting, I researched and found very little work that centralized around a Native protagonist.

This also correlates with some research I am doing for my Native Myth and Writing course, a portion of the books that I have read for the class, are interviews or recordings of several Natives. While although extremely interesting, and I have often found myself reading these books late into the night. The culture presented in the books is alien to me, aside from not knowing any, of the Choctaws, my own tribe’s history or culture, I definitely would not be able to connect to connect to the Lakota’s or the Commanche’s. While I cannot speak for any that still live on or have come from the reservations, but living in the Oklahoma City suburbs, I was not exposed to any of elements of native culture, aside from what I saw in my social studies textbooks. Which, strangely, always seemed to make the Natives out to agree to the seizure of land, or that they chose to walk the Trail of Tears, and without exception, each textbook’s artwork was always painting of Native in battle, always on the losing side.  On a side note, I did here in some textbook, I want to say in Texas that said, the Natives were happy to leave their lands and the seizures were completely consensual. Now, I am in a constant state to want to learn more about my own and other tribes, not only as research for what I am writing but also just to gather the information.

To bring this full circle, I believe that it is almost a cultural censorship of Native writing and works, that if the work does not fit the in “stereotypical” Native or the history book answer to the question it is banned. I did a little research on one of the books I am reading for Native Myth and Writing, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, and it has been banned several times often called controversial, and with “good” reason, as it depicts the American expansion into the west from a Native standpoint. As a country and culture, it seems as if we actively try to forget that we did commit mass genocide towards the Native American population, especially towards the Plains Tribes. I believe, and I could be completely wrong about this, Native censorship could be a not as much as a prevention of the spread of ideas and culture, but more of as the colloquial phrases says, “save face” for America.

Interview Prep

WOMAN BEING INTERVIEWED IN OFFICE. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.

As mentioned in class this week, Max and I are conducting our interview this week with American History  Professor Finck and American Literature Professor Brown. We are conducting the interview with Dr. Finck this upcoming Thursday and we are interviewing Dr. Brown this Friday. I also reached out to some of my Professors at Oklahoma City Community College several of them felt as if they were not knowledgeable enough to aid us in our endeavor. However, one Professor went to the library and collected information for us, as well as put us into contact with the head librarian. I was able to contact my former sociology Professor at OCCC and we have arranged to set up an interview next week. Down below are some of the questions Max and/or I have thought of at the time of writing this post.

Dr. Finck 

What was the American political climate during the 1950s to the 1960s?

What controversies arose during this time?

Who was in the administrative positions in the school, the city of Tulsa, and state levels?

What were some of the domestic policies at the time?

How was censorship handled during the 1950s – 1960s?

Do you know Oklahoma political climate during the aforementioned time period?

In your opinion, what was the significance of the 1960s banning of Catcher in the Rye?

Dr. Brown

Were there any literary movements during the 1960s, if so did they have an active presence in Oklahoma?

Do you know of the controversies surrounding Catcher in the Rye and what is your opinion on it?

What do you know of the bannings of Catcher in the Rye in Oklahoma?

Dr. M’Lou Smith

What is your view on censorship?

In your opinion, how would book censorship fit into functionalism?

How would book censorship fit into Symbolic-Interaction theory, could censorship be even analyzed by Symbolic-Interaction theory?

Would book censorship be an avenue in which the that the minority group controls the majority group if viewed through Conflict theory.

Dr. Nina Smith

I had planned on asking my Honors advisor from Oklahoma City Community College, she was a literary professor, but earlier today, I had learned that she passed earlier this year after losing her fight to an unspecified illness.

Discussion

Nazism. Burning of books unrelated with the regime. . Photo. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.

I do apologize, I should have made this type of post sooner. Initially, I came into this class trying to have an objective view on censorship, though I did not know much of censorship, aside a festive week that Oklahoma City Community College put on called banned books week. I had assumed that the library was trying to bring light to the evolution of free speech throughout the world, due to many of the flyers showed older classics being banned, and if I recall correctly it the latest book being C.S. Lewis’ Chronicle of Narnia: the lion, the witch, and the Wardrobe. After the first few class session, I believed that no book should be censored, that an individual should be able to read whatever he or she wanted to, then be able to form their own opinion. However, I recently watched a documentary that altered my stance. The American Anarchist is a documentary that interviews William Powell, the author, of An Anarchist’s Cookbook almost fifty years after his controversial publication, as well as gives a brief synopsis of his work. An Anarchist’s Cookbook has inspired many domestic acts of terror, the most notable being Timothy McVeigh. He was partly-inspired by the work in the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in the 1900s. It was this documentary as well as reflection on the recent rise in domestic terror attacks, mainly public shootings, that has altered my view on censorship. While freedom of speech is an unalienable human right, there is a line, persay, that should not be crossed, for if works like the An Anarchist’s Cookbook. If it was not published how many individuals would not have been radicalized by such a work? While in a perfect world there should be no censorship, any idea that could be put to paper should be published, however, we do not live in such an optimistic place. Knowledge is like a fire, those not careful will get burned.

However, aside from books such as An Anarchist’s Cookbook, I do not be censored or challenged. Especially, if the book is banned for such issues, as parents wanting a book banned, despite the child showing interest in the book. In doing so by banning such books, the parent only makes the book more popular and read, due to then the act of rebellion in reading such controversial books. If parties were insistent on banning, perhaps instead of banning, there should be a system similar to the video game industry, books should be rated by age group. Whereas books like the Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe could be offered to all age groups, while the Kite Runner would not be able to be purchased without a parent unless the individual is old enough to buy it.

Survey of Technology

Technology . Fine Art. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.

I do apologize for the tardiness of this post, it had completely slipped my mind. Last week Max and I conduct the survey of technology at our university. We met with Mr. Adeel Siddiqui, the network administrator, here at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and our meeting was as informative as it was quick. During the meeting Mr. Siddiqui informed us of the multiple labs on campus and spanning eight buildings there is a total of eighteen labs. The building with the most being Davis, the social science, business, and art complex, with a grand total of five labs and Sparks Dormitory Hall being the smallest with only one lab. Several of the labs throughout the university are also specialty labs such as the graphic design labs or the physic labs. He also informed us of the newest innovation at USAO, the Lecture Capture system, this system allows the professor to record the entirety of a lecture and have the ability to send it to the students of the particular class. On campus, there is also a lab, for the hearing impaired. One of the more interesting features that USAO has is we have our own modest fleet of drones, however, it is reasonable to believe that this would be out of reach for students to access. At USAO, Max and I also have access to a plethora of online databases at our disposal, and on top of the databases available to us via USAO, I still have access to all the databases at Oklahoma City Community College, due to my transfer between schools. This includes some of the sites we did not have access to such as the Gale Literary Index.

A quick update on our project, we have chosen our contract and begin to brainstorm on our mission statement. We have began to reach out past our case and expand into cases across the nation. A gem, in my personal opinion, is from a small town in Washington banned Catcher in the Rye as a communist plot, rather than the typical reasons for banning the book. In addition to bringing debauchery to the youth of America, there are alleged links to Catcher in the Rye to killers both the murderer of John Lennon and would-be assassin of former President Ronald Reagan. Both individuals were infatuated with the book, however, I have not researched into the credibility of either of these allegations, but it would be interesting if one or both of these allegations would be true. Going forward we are continuing to expand our reach and I have suggested to Max that we should investigate the banning from a sociological lens, such as how would the bannings fit into Conflict theory, Symbol-Interaction theory, or Functionalist theory. However, we might not be able to take this avenue due to time constraints.

 

 

Progress Report: 002

Continuing our research into the 1960’s Tulsa banning of the Catcher in the Rye. We did learn from the American Library Association website, that this case was the first known case of banning of the Catcher in the Rye. Oddly enough, there were not many local articles covering this historical event. However, we have located several articles throughout Oklahoma, specifically the towns of Miami and Lawton. This has been a decent leap in progress as all articles I and Max have found prior is did not give a name of the teacher or the high school. Fortunately, when we peered into the newspaper articles from the 1960’s, we uncovered the names of both the school and teacher in question.

Beatrice Levin was the teacher, who assigned the Catcher in the Rye to her eleventh-grade class, due to her love of the book. However, there was an outcry and one parent when as far as to call the piece smut. The high school principal Dr. Hiram Alexander of Edison preparatory school did leave Mrs. Levin on the faculty, however, there were persistent parents who wanted to oust Mrs. Levin. The superintedent and Tulsa board of education, did not take action against the challenge, instead they put Mrs. Levin’s career and the book in the hands of the local magistrate to decide, i she was to continue teaching, and if the book was to be banned. Mrs. Levin did make a comment, that found it’s way to the Lawon times asking the reporter if the students could not read the Catcher in the Rye, what would they read?

I also found a two-hundred thirteen-page paper from Harvard, covering censorship and one of the cases in the paper covers the Catcher in the Rye, at time of writing, I am still reading through the paper, and I am hoping to uncover more information in the later sections of the piece.

After reading through several of these articles, Max and I have begun to reach out to the Beatrice Levin, the principal Dr. Hriam Alexander, and Dr. Charles C. Manson, or any next of kin to the individuals for the hopes of an interview. In addition, we also have contacted Edison high school as well as the Tulsa board of education to begin the dialouge of recieveing records of from the 1960s, in the hopes of recieveing any kind of information regarding the case.

With the information we uncover, I plan to make a story map of  the events of what happened in the case and the surrounding area, but also we could also potentially make an story map of the events that happen as Max and I make the head way in the defense of our case, and lead to the eventual outcome.

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