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Banned Books Week - Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Between the 23rd and 29th of September, join Cambridge Scholars Publishing in marking the hugely important Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a number of threats facing the freedom to read, and it brings together the entire book community – librarians, archivists, booksellers, authors, publishers, teachers, and of course readers – to support freedom of expression. More than this, the week is a celebration of those who, both now and in the past, have voiced opinions and written books so challenging to societal norms that they have been purged, both literally and figuratively, from existence. It pays homage to those who have insisted upon the right to read, without coercion or censorship, throughout history.

At Cambridge Scholars we are proud to be joining the book community in celebrating Banned Books Week. We are unwaveringly committed to allowing our authors to freely express their arguments in their books, especially if their work introduces challenging new ideas or critiques deeply embedded trends within different academic disciplines or the wider world. We are therefore offering our readers a 50% discount on four of our most recent titles that speak to the themes of censorship, freedom of expression, and the right to read. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BANNEDBOOKS18 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 1st October 2018.

Images of book burning have become widely associated with the fascist dictatorships of the twentieth century, which used brutal censorship and intimidation to control the messages that reached the population. Amongst this, however, were widespread practices of resistance and subversion from anti-fascist writers and activists. Foreign Women Authors under Fascism and Francoism: Gender, Translation and Censorship highlights the cultural features and processes which characterized translation practice under the dictatorships of Benito Mussolini (1922-1940) and Francisco Franco (1939-1975). The nine chapters presented here are not a global study of the history of translation in those black times in contemporary culture, but rather a collection of varied cases, small stories of publishers, collections, translations and translators that, despite many disappointments but with the occasional success, managed to undermine the ideological and literary currents of the dictatorships of Mussolini and Franco.

Throughout history, it is not just books that have been subjected to the whip of suppression. Controversial Renaissance art and science also garnered the attention of the long arm of censorship, with the Catholic Church in particular hacking off the genitalia of nude sculptures and slandering the scientific achievements of Copernicus and Galileo. Leonardo Da Vinci did not escape this treatment – his Leda and the Swan was likely deliberately destroyed, and more recently an educational centre in Israel covered up the genitals of his Vitruvian Man to not offend religious schoolchildren. Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, of course, also drew the ire of the church. Leonardo da Vinci and The Virgin of the Rocks: One Painter, Two Virgins, Twenty-Five Years is the first complete analysis of one of Da Vinci’s little known paintings, and celebrates the cheeky and brilliant way that Da Vinci transformed the world of art in his lifetime.

Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses is probably the best known example of a contemporary banned book. Burned at numerous demonstrations around the world subsequent to its publication in 1988, it catapulted Rushdie to fame while also generating heated debates on freedom of expression and the right to offend. Mapping out the Rushdie Republic: Some Recent Surveys is a balanced yet often critical take on Rushdie’s writing and legacy. The contributions raise pertinent issues and questions that invite the perceptive reader to enter into a meaningful dialogue with the views of a range of formidable academics of national and international repute. The significant act of mapping out the Rushdie republic makes this a must-read for those who find the Rushdie phenomenon an interesting one as part of ongoing debates and discussions.

The Persecution of Professors in the New Turkey: Expulsion of Excellence – A Facebook Book tells the story of an American academic, Clyde R. Forsberg Jr., living and working in the AKP heartland of Turkey. A distinguished Professor in the Department of Western Languages and Literatures at Karabük University at the time, having relocated his entire family to Turkey two years prior, the Forsbergs were forced to flee the country after he was detained by the police and tried for “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization” following his posting of a poem on Facebook critical of the ruling party in Turkey. Subsequently found innocent of all charges, Forsberg was nonetheless sacked, forced to clear out his office as University cameras rolled, adding insult to injury. The book is thus an essential account of modern persecution which asks hard questions of the role of social media in the preservation of democratic freedoms.

To find out more about Banned Books Week, please click here. The banner artwork used on the front page of our website is courtesy of the American Library Association, whose support and cooperation we gratefully acknowledge.

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