Banned Books Week at COC

by Jed Bookout 0

Banned Books Week returned to College of the Canyons on September 25, with a central theme of marginalization for the fall semester.

It will run for a week and feature guest speakers, workshops, and book displays at The Learning Center for students to learn more about banned books and why certain literature is considered controversial.

Many of the discussions center around issues of race, gender and sexuality.

Professor Erin Delaney is the coordinator of the week-long event, which is hosting everything from lectures on diversity in early childhood development to seminars instructing students on how to write a banned book.

“Many of the books that have been on the banned books list have been popular books,” Delaney said. “In some ways, the challenges are good news because those books are gaining enough critical attention and popularity that people are noticing them to say that they don’t want to have them available.”

Five of the ten most challenged books in schools since 2016 have focused on LGBT issues, sexuality, or both.

The books challenged include Sex Criminals, a comic book by writer Matt Fraction and artist Chip Zdarsky about bank robbers who learn how to freeze time when having sex, and Two Boys Kissing, a coming of age story about two boys who wish to break the world record for the longest continuous kiss held by two people.

Monday’s seminar on Queer Representation in Literature and Film was led by Miguel Chavez and Matthew Lemus, two tutors at TLC. The two tutors led a healthy discussion on how representation is important and why increased focus on the LGBT community is a good thing.

Tutor Miguel Chavez, speaking to a student about queer studies in literature

Two more events are planned for this week on September 28 and 29. September 28 will be a seminar on how to write a banned book with Professor Ashley Granillo, and September 29 will be a discussion on Ken Mochizuki’s book Baseball Saved Us by Coach Matt Crater.

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