The pieces in part one consider commercial pressures, addressing topics such as the power of advertisers, music copyrights, arts funding, and the situation of independent bookshops. Part two is a hodge-podge of material on "The Internet", including pieces on copyright and creativity, "IP guerrillas", and some blathering about "The Metaphysics of Networks".
Looking at the protection of children, part three includes articles on the effects of the media, child pornography laws and their feedback into child sexualization, and the panic over paedophilia; it also includes some stories of prosecuted artists and a round table discussion with teenagers. On hate speech, part four has pieces on the controversies over "nigger", the obsession with avoiding bias in reading test texts, and various controversial museum exhibitions. And part five addresses self-censorship, considering both individual artists and institutions.
The pieces are mixed in form as well as subject, including interviews and dialogues as well as more formal essays. As is inevitable with a collection this varied, I found some of the pieces really interesting and others much less so. Which brings me to an ironic suggestion.
A heterogeneous collection like Censoring Culture no longer makes any sense as a printed book: published online, the individual pieces would find much larger audiences. So the editors could have written about the pressures that impelled this choice of format: the need to bolster their academic publication records, perhaps, or the lack of payment for publication on a web site?
- External links:
- buy from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
- share this review on Facebook or Twitter
- Related reviews:
- books about civil liberties
- books about current affairs