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Data About Data Suppression


Event Summary

This public dialogue series, supported by the Censorship, Information Control, and Information Revolutions from Printing Press to Internet research project at the Neubauer Collegium, brought together scholars of print revolutions past and present with practitioners working on the frontiers of today’s information revolution. These events were not formal panels with presented papers, but freeform discussions in which experts bounce ideas off each other, discovering rich parallels between our work and sharing them in real time. Taking place from October through November, the eight dialogues united historians, editors, novelists, poets, and activists, and were filmed and shared online to let the public enjoy and continue the discussions. For more details on the series and related events, please visit

November 2: Data About Data Suppression

Evaluating the censorship practices of governments and other powerful organizations often faces the challenge that the censoring bodies themselves control the production and circulation of documents. This week we examined the documentary practices of censoring powers, by putting an expert on the institutional and administrative history of the Inquisition in dialogue with a specialist in contemporary government redaction, to compare the kinds of evidence interrogations generate, and how we can attempt to access the real activities of those censors who are protected by state backing.

Nicholas Davidson (Inquisition trials)

Joshua Craze (contemporary state document redaction, Guantanamo Bay & other cases)