Banned Books Week features read-outs, professor panel


Chelsea Ratterman

Editor In Chief 

The LRC will be hosting student read-outs during Banned Books week from Oct. 2-5. Oct. 1 is the first read-out at 10:30 a.m. in front of the LRC and the second one is at noon on Oct. 2 also in front of the LRC. These read-outs feature students reading excerpts from their favorite challenged book in a circle of peers, as well as faculty and staff participants.  Each day features different books and readers.

Throughout the week, a display of banned books in the RSC library will be up in the LRC on the first floor.

For more info on Banned Books Week, visit the American Library Association website.

Graphic by Melissa Bednarek

One of the events for the Banned Books week occurring from Oct. 1-5 is a professor panel discussion.

Held Oct. 3 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in LRC Room 109/110, the panel will feature different points of view on the topic of banning books.

The panel features three RSC faculty members, Dr. John Wood, Dr. Jim Hochtritt and Michael Grady, and is moderated by Ben Fenwick.

This event is free to the public.

Professor Michael Grady

Prof. Grady will be on the pro-side of banning books for the Banned Books Panel. He is playing the devil’s advocate for the sake of the panel, alongside Dr. Hochtritt.

“I am taking a side for which I am not truly behind, but when asked, I thought it would be a good challenge, and I plan to come out on the winning side,” said Grady.

Grady is an adjunct professor and teaches Fundamentals of English, Comp I and II.

He holds a B.A in speech and in religion from Baylor University, Master’s of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Masters of English, traditional studies from UCO.

Grady is in his sixth year as a professor at RSC.

Dr. James Hochtritt

Dr. Hochtritt will be taking the pro-banning side on the Banned Books Panel. He is playing the devil’s advocate, alongside Prof. Grady, for the sake of the panel.

Dr. Hochtritt earned a B.A. in American Studies, a B.A. in History from California State University Chico and an M.A. and Ph.D. in American History from the University of Oklahoma. He is a cultural and social historian whose main area of focus is ethnicity and race in the 20th century American West.

He is in his 12th year at RSC and is a tenured, full-time faculty member.

Dr. John Wood

Dr. Wood is taking the anti-banning stance on the Banned Books Panel. He has expressed that book burning is symbolic and pure censorship, leading toward extremism. In an example given by Dr. Wood, the radical views of Christian Johann Heinrich Heine led to German authorities banning many of his works and forcing him to live in Paris for 25 years as an expatriate. He once said, “Where books are burned, people will next be burned.”

Dr. Wood is currently in his eighth year as an RSC professor and is the faculty adviser for VOICE/OIL, Go Green Club, and the Veteran’s Club.

Dr. Wood holds a B.S. in Journalism, an M.A. in Political Science and a Ph.D. in environmental policy and conflict management all from OSU.

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