The 21st Show

What’s behind a recent wave of censorship in schools?

Art Spiegelman's graphic novel

Art Spiegelman's graphic novel "Maus," which depicts the author interviewing his father, who survived the Holocaust, is one of the many books being targeted in the recent wave of book bans in schools.

Around the country, at school board meetings, in state legislatures, and in some local libraries, books are facing challenges, and many of the books being challenged have to do with race. Other books are generating attention from some parents because of sexual themes, but those books also happen to be by LGBTQ authors. 

To talk about this rise in book censorship, what’s behind it, and how it impacts which lived experiences get shared in classrooms, we were joined by the editor of an independent editorial book site, as well as professors of library science and comparative literature. 


Emily Knox 

Associate Professor, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | Author, Book Banning in 21st Century America

Kelly Jensen

Editor, Book Riot

Brett Ashley Kaplan 

Professor, Comparative Literature and Jewish Studies | Director, Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign



Prepared for web by Owen Henderson

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