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CfP: Transverse 2009-2010: Censorship

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.  (Voltaire)

The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book.  (Walt Whitman)

Transverse, the graduate journal of the University of Toronto’s Centre for Comparative Literature, welcomes academic papers, literary reviews, creative writing, and art on the topic of Censorship. The journal will be published online in the spring of 2010 at

For as long as people have been speaking and writing, there have been authorities vested with the power to determine what could be spoken and by whom. The censor was an officer of Rome who, from the 4th century BC, was responsible for the honourable task of upholding good governance. Although censorship was for the Romans a positive thing in that it guaranteed the success of the state, the connotations of censorship today are, at least in the West, undeniably negative. What has censorship meant at different historical moments? What is the status of censorship today? How has it evolved? In order to mark Transverse’s shift to a web-based journal, we are devoting this issue to exploring all issues related to censorship, a topic whose dimensions are complicated by the rapid transformation of communication technology.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

Ancient Censorship

  • Early Roman conceptions of censorship
  • The death of Socrates
  • Censorship in ancient Greek drama

Early Modern Censorship

  • Milton’s Areopagitica
  • Dramatic versus print censorship in Elizabethan and Jacobean England
  • Ancien Regime permission and privilege
  • Women and self/familial/societal censorship
  • Government versus inquisition censorship in Golden Age Spain and the evolution of censorship in Spain from 1558-1631
  • Censorship and Conquest of the New World
  • Parody, satire, irony: rhetoric and censorship
  • Letters and the Art of the Unsaid

Nineteenth-Century Censorship

  • Sexology and Censorship
  • Imagined Communities and Censorship
  • Revolution and Censorship
  • New World Independence, Birth of Nations, Censors

Twentieth-Century Censorship

  • McCarthyism
  • Censorship in the USSR, Cuba
  • Censorship under fascism/totalitarian regimes
  • Feminism and censorship
  • Banned books

Contemporary Censorship

  • Censorship and Queer studies
  • Censorship and money or social status
  • Literary representations of censorship
  • Censorship and surveillance
  • Is the Google hegemony a form of censorship?
  • Censorship in the age of Wikipedia, open source software and media, blogs, Facebook…
  • Is the prohibitive pricing of books and other media a form of censorship?
  • Artistic responses to censorship



Critical essays should be between 3000 and 4000 words, in Microsoft Word, MLA format with appropriate citations.

Literary reviews can be on any work relating to the topic. We are looking for submissions 500-800 words in length, with publication information attached.

Creative writings – we accept poems and short stories (1500 word max.)

Art – please submit in Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format.

Contributors must be graduate students at the time of submission. Please direct all documents and inquiries to

Deadline: March 1, 2010

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