In this section of the website, we have provided the thoughts of some professionals in fields related to censorship. Here we give some of the rationale for selecting the professors we did, as well as their academic background and a short summary of their interviews.
Dr. Ard is a Professor of Literature at Ramapo College of New Jersey. She specializes in young adult literature studies, and has done previous research on censorship. We were hoping Dr. Ard could provide us with more details as to why The Golden Compass, and other books like it, are censored. In general, Dr. Ard is anti-censorship, and would have voted to keep The Golden Compass on the shelves at Halton. She staunchly believes that reading should be encouraged among today’s youth. She identifies the main cause of censorship in schools as fear amongst administration, in this case fear of atheism.
Click here to read Dr. Patricia Ard’s interview
Dr. Herold is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at SUNY Geneseo. We were hoping that Dr. Herold could provide some of the legal and political context of censorship. His areas of expertise include political theory, constitutional law, and judicial politics. His research highlights the connection between religion, ambition, and civic engagement in American politics. In his interview, Dr. Herold states that censorship can be appropriate under certain situations, like when a text interferes with creating the best possible adults. While high school students have free speech, public schools are allowed to remove a book they deem to promote bad morals. Dr. Herold admits that the line in the sand concerning when to censor in schools is very fuzzy.
Click here to read Dr. Aaron Herold’s interview.