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What is Your Favorite Banned Book?

In honor of the 30-year anniversary of Banned Books Week, numerous UA departments and colleges have partnered with organizations both and off campus to host a series of events to celebrate the freedom to read.

Sponsored by the American Library Association, the week is also endorsed by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress and Project Censored.

The UA events include:

Through Dec. 31: A new exhibition, "Misunderstood Titles: Stories about Censorship in the Old Pueblo," has opened at UA Main Library, 1510 E. University Blvd. UA librarians Erica DeFrain and Cindy Elliott coordinated the project, highlighting 100 banned or contested books, including children's books and best-selling novels.

Oct. 3: A panelist will lead a 3:30-5:30 p.m. discussion coinciding with the exhibition. The presenters are: Bob Diaz, an associate librarian for the UA Special Collections; Kay Mathiesen, an assistant professor in the UA School of Information Resources and Library Science, or SIRLS; and Patricia M. Overall, an associate professor of SIRLS; and Roberto Rodriguez, an assistant professor in the UA Department of Mexican American Studies.

Oct. 4: At 10:30 a.m., Robert A. Williams, Jr. will discuss his recently published book, "Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization." Williams is the E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law and American Indian Studies at the UA's James E. Rogers College of Law where he also serves as the co-faculty chair of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program. A book sale and signing follow his talk.

Oct. 5: Award-winning authors Sandra Cisneros, Manuel Muñoz and Helena María Viramontes will speak at 8 p.m. in Room 350 of the UA Modern Languages Building, 1423 E University Blvd. The event, which is free and open to the public, is an initiative of the UA College of Humanities and English department along with partners both on and off campus.

Cisneros is best known for "The House on Mango Street" and her new book, "Have You Seen Marie?" is forthcoming. The most recent book published by Muñoz, an assistant professor who teaches creative writing at the UA, is "What You See in the Dark." Also, the most recent book by Viramontes is "Their Dogs Came with Them."

The three authors will address a number of questions: "How does access to new ideas strengthen the bonds of community? How vital can literature be as a tool to free ourselves of cultural misunderstandings?"

Photo credit: The American Library Association