On the Trap[pings] of "Censorship" Discourse and the "Civil" Circumvention of Rupture

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Source Publication

In and Out of View: Art and the Dynamics of Circulation, Suppression and Censorship

Publication Date



Catha Paquette, Karen Kleinfelder, Christopher Miles


Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.


New York, New York


9781501358715 (print); 9781501358692 (epub)

First Page


Last Page



Critical Black Studies

Publisher Statement

In and Out of View represents a significant contribution to the literature on censorship. The twenty-two components of this anthology, which include essays, interviews, and statements by over forty contributors from diverse backgrounds and practices, focus on art production and reception from the mid-twentieth century to the present in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. At issue are not only governmental restrictions but also discursive effects, such as erasure and distortion resulting from institutional policies, interpretive methods, and canonical processes. Crucial considerations concerning death, violence, authoritarianism, colonialism, labor, global capitalism, immigration, race, religion, sexuality, social justice, activism, disability, campus speech, and cultural destruction are highlighted. The volume, which models an expansion in how censorship is discursively framed, invites consideration of the shifting contexts, values, and needs through which artwork moves in and out of view.


This is a short essay recalling the abrupt cancellation of a performance event and the nuanced implications. The essay is situated within a larger chapter in this art book that intervenes in the controversy of artistic expression in the present heated climate of free speech, civil discourse and higher education.


Africana Studies is now called Critical Black Studies.

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