Censorship and Information Control During Information Revolutions Dialogue Series: Introduction

Friday, October 5
1:30 pm - 4:20 pm

Kent Chemical Laboratory, Room 107
1020 East 58th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637

This public dialogue series, supported by the Censorship, Information Control, and Information Revolutions from Printing Press to Internet research project at the Neubauer Collegium, brings together scholars of print revolutions past and present with practitioners working on the frontiers of today’s information revolution. These events will not be 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 will unite historians, editors, novelists, poets, and activists, and will be filmed and shared online, to let the public enjoy and continue the discussions. For more details on the series and related events, please visit voices.uchicago.edu/censorship.

October 5: Introduction, Censorship & Information Control During Information Revolutions

This week our three co-organizers will introduce the questions of the series. Are there patterns in how revolutions in information technology stimulate new forms of information control? What can earlier information revolutions teach us about the digital revolution? How do real historical cases of censorship tend to differ from the centralized, well-planned censorship that Orwell’s 1984 teaches us to expect?  How can forms of information control which were not intended as censorship have similar consequences to censorship, with or without human agency?

Adrian Johns (printing history, history of copyright, radio, piracy)
Ada Palmer (Inquisition, pre-modern European censorship, censorship of comic books)
Cory Doctorow (digital information policy) will join this week by teleconference

Note: Adrian Johns and Ada Palmer will attend all sessions in person.