The Brooklyn Book Festival (BKBF) is one of the biggest festivals in New York City and this year it is featuring over 300 authors. Originally meant to showcase the unique “voice” of Brooklyn, because of the variety of authors that resided there, the event has taken off allowing other authors outside of Brooklyn to be celebrated as well.
The Festival starts on Monday, September 10 and will primarily be in downtown Brooklyn. There will be different panels, themed readings, author signings, and vendors that will be present. More recently, the festival has gown to include two special days during the festival: Children’s Day (Saturday, September 15) and Festival Day (Sunday, September 16th).
It’s almost impossible to scroll through headlines today without encountering an article on sexism or sexual harassment in the workplace. While the conversation has recently turned to sexism in Hollywood, Publishers Weekly was right to remind us that “Women in Publishing say #MeToo.” According to PW, women make up almost 80 per cent of the publishing workforce, yet “the industry is rife with sexual harassment.”
It’s also rife with underrepresentation. Cue VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, an organization that works to illustrate inequality in the industry. The nonprofit’s goal is to amplify the voices of women, people of color, writers with disabilities, and queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming authors – individuals who have, historically, faced discrimination in mainstream society. Continue reading “VIDA | Women in Literary Arts”
The Center for Communication is a nonprofit organization sponsored by major media companies and other academic partners. It’s mission? To increase diversity in the media industry and better prepare students for careers “by connecting them with the best minds in media.”
Influential figures in the business today, like David J. Barrett, Director of Hearst Corporation, Anthony Ambrosio, Senior Executive Vice President/Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)/Chief Human Resources Officer for CBS Corporation, Julie Henderson, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for 21st Century Fox, and Hilary Smith, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications for NBCUniversal, all play a leading role at the Center.
Center for Communication events, namely panels and on-location seminars (195 Plymouth St #320, Brooklyn, NY, 11201), are FREE for students. While most events are open to the public, some are exclusively for students, and these generally require early registration. You can scroll through the Center’s Events Calendar here or you an subscribe to its newsletter for news and updates.
The Center for Communication annually awards the Carole Cooper and Richard Leibner Journalism Fellowship to a New York-based college junior, senior, or grad student. The Fellow receives a monthly stipend and interns at the Center for Communication during the school year. For more internship listings, check here. (This looks like a broken link right now, as there aren’t any positions currently available at the Center.)
If you’re just hearing about the Center now and you’re disappointed you’ve missed so many events, fear not. Past events, luncheons, and interviews are posted on vimeo for you to watch at your leisure. For a sample panel, check out this panel on Media Giants and Media Literacy:
We’re halfway through Banned Books Week, an event that celebrates people’s right to read and reiterates the importance of the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
According to the American Library Association, to challenge a book is to “attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.”
Books have been challenged/banned in the United States since the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852 when the anti-slavery novel was deemed inappropriate for popular consumption because of its pro-abolitionist message. (In case you missed it, Monday’s blog kicked off #BannedBooksWeek with a post on the woman who started it all: Harriet Beecher Stowe.)
The practice of book banning continued well into the 1920s after Anthony Comstock, then a well-known politician, helped push a law through Congress that banned “obscene literature” from being sent in the mail (his definition of “pornography” extended so far as to include Medieval works like The Canterbury Tales). Influential court cases, however, like The United States v. One Book Called Ulysses in 1933 and Roth vs. The United States in 1957, combined with the social revolutions of the 60s and 70s, made room in the market for books with strong language and depictions of sex and violence.
While some challenged titles may be not surprise you – E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey made the American Library Associations’ Top 10 Most Challenged Books List in 2015 – others may cause your eyebrows to lift. Charlotte’s Web, for example, by E.B. White, Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling, The Giving Tree, by Shell Silverstein, and Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak, all faced parental pushback upon publication.
The Library of Congress has also put together a list of books that have been banned/challenged over the years that “have had a profound effect on American life.” In 1885, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain’s beloved American classic, was deemed “trash and suitable only for the slums.” In the 60s, The Autobiography of Malcolm X , Truman Capote’sIn Cold Blood, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird faced similar vitriol.
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki was the number one challenged title of 2016 because of its “LGBT characters, drug use and profanity,” and sexual content. The book went on to become a New York Times bestseller, a 2015 Caldecott Honor Book, a 2015 Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and an Eisner Award Winner.
NYC’s Strand Bookstore has assembled a special table for banned books this week. Did your favorite make the list?