Six O’Clock Series celebrates Banned Books Week

Seth Woolcock

Staff Writer



In 1982, library activist Judith Krug created Banned Books Week.

Her objective was to bring banned books to the attention of the American people.

She wanted the public to be aware of books that were challenged only because they questioned and defined normality and social correctness.

Now, 34 years after its founding, Banned Books Week has become a national, weeklong event.

This year’s Banned Books Week mission is to focus on author diversity and ideas that have been challenged.

The week will begin Sunday and last through Oct. 1. At the top of this year’s mostchallenged list is John Green’s “Looking for Alaska.”

Other challenged books include “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “I Am Jazz,” and even “The Bible.”

IUP, as always, will continue to embrace Banned Books Week.

“Banned Books Week is about intellectual freedom and hearing all perspectives, even if they are different,” said Dr. Tanya Heflin, assistant professor in the IUP department of English.

The Pop Culture Methodologies (PCM) will host a Six O’Clock Series at 6 p.m. Monday in the Hadley Union Building Ohio Room.

A group of graduate students will pose the questions, “What is pop culture, and why do diverse pop culture voices get challenged?”

The PCM will have four members present speaking about Banned Books Week.

“We see and digest so much in today’s pop culture: racism, sexism and even homophobia, that we need to be aware about,” said Meghan Hurley, a doctoral candidate in literature and criticism.

Hurley says that she will speak in-depth about one of her favorite authors, Octavia Butler.

Hurley will try to explain how Butler uses racism in her writings to critique racism as a whole and its relevance today.

The events will continue at 1 p.m. Wednesday with the Banned Books Read-Out in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences building’s Atrium.

The Read-Out is hosted by the IUP department of English and IUP Libraries. P

rofessors, staff, students and administration will all take part in lively readings from some of the all-time great authors whose books were banned.