Linfield to host discussion on the censorship of literature

Linfield College will host Reed College professor Pancho Savery for a discussion on the censorship of literature Tuesday, March 13, at 3:30 p.m. in 219 T.J. Day Hall.

“To Cut or Not to Cut: Censorship in Literature” is sponsored by the Conversation Project, a program through Oregon Humanities that offers free conversations to engage community members in thoughtful, challenging conversations about ideas critical to daily life and the state’s future. The lecture will focus on the recent efforts to remove the “N” word in literature. For example, in a new edition of Mark Twain’s “Huck Finn,” the word is changed to “slave,” and a high school production of August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” was almost sidelined because of its offensive language. Savery poses the questions: “Is censorship ever a good thing? Should accommodations be made to make clear the differences between a character and an author?”

Savery is a professor of English, humanities and American studies at Reed. He also teaches in Reed’s freshman humanities program on the Ancient Mediterranean World focusing on Greece, Egypt, Persia and Rome. For the last 11 years, he has worked with Oregon Humanities on the Humanity in Perspective program. He has given theatre talks at both Portland Center Stage and Artist Repertory Theater, and directed Delve Reading Seminars through Portland Literary Arts. He has published essays on Robert Creeley, Ezra Pound, Saunders Redding and several others. His recent poems can be found in the current issue of “Hubbub.”

Oregon Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a partner of the Oregon Cultural Trust. Its programs include the Conversation Project, Think and Drink, Humanity in Perspective, Happy Camp, Public Programs Grants, Responsive Program Grants and the “Oregon Humanities Magazine.”

The event is free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by the Linfield English Department and Oregon Humanities. For more information, visit or contact Barbara Kitt Seidman, Linfield College professor of English, at 503-883-2210,