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Book banning must be stopped

"I can't wait to go home and relax," my friend Marianne declared. After taking three midterm exams that week, Marianne planned a quiet evening at home. "Marcia, you're an English major," she said, looking up from her bag. "Can you think of a good book to me to read?" "How about Native Son or to Kill a Mockingbird?" I said. "Or did you ever read Flowers for Algernon or Ordinary People?" The four books I recommended have something in common. Although good by my standards, each has been attacked as dangerous by certain people or groups in communities across the United States. Along with other works by outstanding authors, such as Alice Walker, John Steinbeck, Kurt Vonnegut, and Mark Twain, these books - four of my all-time favorites - have been challenged, censored, banned, burned or removed from American schools and libraries in recent years.

Censorship of textbooks and other books in school libraries appears to be increasing in all parts of the country. People for the American Way, a Washington-based lobby group that recently conducted its fourth annual study of censorship, reports that incidents of censorship have increased 35 percent in the past year. In the past four years these incidents have more than doubled. Last July, the American Library Association published a list of more than five hundred books that have been banned, challenged, or removed from schools and public libraries around the country, ranging from Harriet the Spy, by Louise Firzhugh (considered "dangerous" because it "teaches children to lie, spy, back-talk, and curse"), to The Merchant of Venice, by William

Shakespeare (considered to be anti-Semitic).

Often under the guise of upholding community values, censors attack books for profane or obscene language or for scenes о sex and violence. Apparently they believe that by shielding us, they will discourage us from adopting undesirable attitudes, speech. and behavior. The censors may mean well, however, I don't think teenagers encounter many words or details in books that they have not already heard in real life. Besides, I am no more apt to swear after reading Go Ask Alice than I am to speak in blank verse" after reading Macbeth.

Instead of zeroing in on certain passages or words they find offensive, these censors should focus on understanding the value of the work as a whole. For example, J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, which contains numerous four-letter words, has been a recent target of criticism. In recent years, the novel has been challenged, banned, or removed in school districts in states including Washington, Ohio, Florida, and Michigan. Perhaps by examining this work as a whole, the censors would realize its real literary value. Through his protagonist's use of strong language in a clearly unnatural "tough kid" style, Salinger depicts the struggles of a vulnerable boy who hides behind a facade as he grows up in a world that frightens and confuses him. In this work, vulgar language emphasizes Salinger's message and serves a definite purpose.

Even more disturbing to me than attacks on so-called dirty books are those against books that express ideas with which censors - who are often political, social, or religious extremists - disagree.

In Alabama, the state textbook committee rejected thirty-seven textbooks after various conservative groups had objected that the books failed to reflect certain "religious and social philosophies." In Oregon, environmentalists wanted to remove a social studies book because they believed it contained "pro-industry propaganda."' And last July a group of fundamentalist Christian parents in Church Hill, Tennessee, filed suit against the county's public schools. The group argued that a series of schoolbooks preached "secular humanism," a doctrine that they said places man above God. There are a lot of such cases

Notes:

  • · To Kill a Mockinbird - "Убить пересмешника"

  • · Catcher in the Rye - "Над пропастью во ржи"

  • blank verse: a type of poetry that doesn't rhyme

  • four-teller words: words that deal with bodily functions (very bad words)

  • "pro-industry propaganda": information from industrialists that i the environmentalists

  • secular humanism: и philosophy that seeks to encourage moral Dei isi Christians because they believe that people must follow the title;

  • squelch: to suppress, or stamp on

Word Study.

Ex. 1. Match the phrases with their Russian equivalents.

  1. as a whole A/ наряду с

  2. Book banning b/ случаи цензуры

  3. Vulnerable boy c/ трудный ребенок

  4. Four-letter words d/ определенный отрывок

  5. Renowned author e/ нежелательное поведение

  6. Tough kid f/ в последние годы

  7. Native son g/ в целом

  8. Annual study h/ эколог

  9. In recent years i/ многочисленные случаи

  10. Undesirable behaviour j/ cцены насилия

  11. Incidents of censorship k/ запрет на книги

  12. Certain passage l/ под видом

  13. Numerous cases m/ ругательные слова

  14. Protagonist n/ уязвимый мальчик

  15. Under the guise (of) o/ родной сын

  16. Along with p/ главный герой

17. Environmentalist q/ ежегодное исследование

18. Violation scenes r/ прославленный автор

Ex. 2. Match the phrases with their Russian equivalents.

  1. to make a list A/ поддерживать ценности

  2. To have smth in common b/ быть склонным (к)

  3. To hide behind smth c/ сталкиваться с такими словами

  4. To be removed (from) d/ служить определенной цели

  5. To conduct a study e/ не удаваться отражать

  6. To rаnge from… to… f/ ставить под сомнение

  7. To back-talk g/ подавать в суд (на)

  8. To uphold values h/ провести исследование

  9. To adopt the ideas i/ быть удаленным из

  10. To discourage from smth j/ составить список

  11. To be apt (to) k/ спрятаться за чем-то

  12. To be challenged l/ иметь что-то общее

  13. To serve a definite purpose m/ отговорить от…

  14. To fail to reflect n/ воспринимать идеи

  15. To file a suit (against) o/ варьировать от… до…

14. To encounter such words p/ дерзить

Ex. 3. Translate the following sentences into English.

  1. После сдачи экзаменов в середине семестр моя подруга Марианна попросила меня посоветовать ей что-нибудь почитать, и я порекомендовала ей четыре книги - из моих любимых.

  2. Мне пришло в голову (to occur to smb), что у всех этих четырех книг есть что-то общее.

  3. Все они в последние годы ставились под сомнение, подвергались цензуре, сжиганию или удалялись из школьных библиотек.

  4. Похоже, что цензура на учебники или другие книги в школьных библиотеках возрастает вт всех уголках страны.

  5. Одна лоббирующая группа из (based in) штата Вашингтон провела 4-е ежегодное исследование по вопросу цензуры.

  6. Согласно данному исследованию, за последний год случаи цензуры возрасли на 35%, а за последние 4 года эти случаи более чем удвоились.

  7. В июле прошлого года Американская Библиотечная Ассоциация опубликовала список из более чем 500 книг, которые зарпещены, поставлены под сомнение или удалены из школьных или публичных библиотек.

  8. Под видом оказания поддержки устоям общества (community values), цензоры “нападают” на книги за неприличный (profane/obscene) язык, за сцены секса или насилия.

  9. По-видимому, они полагают, что “защищая” нас, они отговаривают нас от усвоения бранных слов и нежелательного поведения.

  10. Может быть, у цензоров и хорошие намерения, но не думаю, что подростки сталкиваются в книгах с такими словами и поступками, которых они не встречали в реальной жизни.

  11. Кроме того, я не стал более склонным к ругательствам после прочтения книги “Пойди и спроси Алису” и не стал говорить белой прозой после чтения “Макбета”.

  1. Вместо того, чтобы убирать отдельные слова или даже целые отрывки,

цензорам лучше было бы рассмотреть значение и воздействие книги в целом.

Comprehension Check.

Answer the following questions.

  1. What did the four books (recommended to Marianne) have in common?

  2. What were the results of the 4th annual study on sencorship?

  3. What were the reasons for censorship?

  4. Do people behave like protagonists of the books the read?

  5. What is the author’s suggestion for censors?

Topics to Discuss.

  1. American societies struggling against censorship.

  2. Reasons for censorship.

  3. Your personal attitude toward censorship.

Text IIC

On the Front Lines in the War Over Academic Freedom.

(University of Minnesota professors are battling an effort to change tenure rules).

(Abridged)

The last stand of the professors here at the University of Minnesota has begun. They are fearful, angry, and convinced they are fighting to save the soul of American higher education. Listen to Thomas Walsh, who teachers physics. "What we're facing has the potential to decimate* this place," he says. Or to Edward Fogelman, chairman of the political science department, who says, "Academic freedom, the very idea of a university is at stake".

The campus is now at the center of a growing national battle over one of the most sacred doctrines of academia: the right of professors to earn tenure, a lifetime guarantee to teach and research without fear of being fired. Squeezed by rising costs, and under pressure to stop raising tuition, college officials here and nationwide are taking a hard new look at tenure - a teaching reward that dates to the Middle Ages - and taking their first serious steps to limit or eliminate it.

Many universities are hiring part-time faculty, or depending more on graduate students to teach classes, as ways of reducing the number of eligible for tenure. Others are requiring more scrutinity of tenured faculty. But no step is as drastic as the one being considered here. Virtually, the entire faculty is in open revolt. "This is a very critical place - if changes like this can occur at a major university like Minnesota, they can happen on any campus," says Mary Burgan, the general secretary of the American Association of University Professors, which has about 45,000 members. "Faculty see this as the beginning of the end."

The uproar here began this fall. Faced with financial troubles, the state's Board of Regents proposed making it easier to lay off tenured faculty, to cut their salaries, or to discipline them even not for maintaining a "proper attitude of industry and cooperation." The 12-member board, which governs public universities, drafted the policy with the help of a Washington, D.C. law firm, Hogan and Hartson, and said the changes would be a powerful way to bring more efficiency to the sprawling university. It has more than 200 departments, 60,000 students and 3,000 faculty members, the majority of whom have tenures. The regents, who are appointed by the state legislature, quickly crossed the "proper attitude" phrase out after the faculty denounced it as "the Chairman Mao provision". They are still standing for other changes to tenure.

Hundreds of professors are forming a union to bargain collectively with the university for the first time over wages and working conditions. Between classes and research, they are organizing a campus labor movement. That would be unprecedent ; none of the nation's 30 largest public research universities has a unionized faculty. "This is the only way now to ensure we have a voice," says Paula Rabinowitz, a tenured English professor. "If they're talking about laying

us off*, they are talking about destroying the basic principles we operate with at a university."

Around the country, professors are joining the fight. For months, the tenure debate has been the subject of furious conversation among academics on computer e-mail nationwide. Some are urging their junior faculty or graduate students not to apply for teaching jobs here. Other universities are already courting* some of Minnesota prestigious professors. Alumni groups have petitioned the board to change its mind. There is open talk among some faculty of simply giving up* and teaching elsewhere. In early November, a regent who had been an architect of the tenure revisions suddenly resigned.

"If this proposal isn't stopped," says Virginia Gray, a professor in the political science department who is helping lead the faculty rebellion, "the university is going to suffer tremendous damage in the eyes of higher education."

The regents say faculty members are overreacting to their proposal, refusing to negotiate sensibly about it, and spreading misinformation to colleagues around the country. The regents have been getting lots of protest calls. "The goal of this is only to improve the quality of the university," says Patricia Spence, a regent. "Resources are getting tighter. We need more flexibility. In no way this will diminish academic freedom. But the faculty are really reacting with paranoia. I'm afraid it has done great damage to the university."

All the pressure, however, seems to be working. Two weeks ago, the regents signaled a new willingness to compromise by supporting a scaled-back version of their tenure plan for University of Minnesota law school professors, who represent only a tiny fraction of the campus faculty. Under that proposal, it would take longer, and become harder, to earn tenure, and cutting salaries would be negotiable. But layoffs would still be rare. Regents say that model may become the one they use for the full faculty.

At most universities, faculty members may get tenure after six years or so of teaching. Professors with tenure have a lifetime appointment. They cannot be dismissed, transferred or demoted. Only extreme misconduct on their part, or a financial emergency at a university, can cost them their jobs. For centuries, universities have held tenure sacred because it protects scholarly work - from the shifting priorities of colleges, from outside political pressures or from personal biases of campus

administrators.

Today, about 58 percent of the nation's college faculty are tenured. That figure is declining, expenses are rising and colleges are facing greater pressure to restructure and keep salaries down. Nationally, faculty pay is rising each year at about the rate of

inflation, 3 percent. Some universities are saving money either by not replacing tenured professors who retire or hiring younger teachers without putting them in tenure-track jobs. In recent years, the University of Minnesota has not replaced many professors who retired.

"Some university leaders believe tenure is a straitjacket," says Richard Chait, a Harvard professor and tenure specialist hired by the regents to advise them on the issue. "Tenure gives faculty great power in how a university conducts its business. What's at the heart of this is not academic freedom - every regent believes in that. This is fundamentally about how power is distributed at a university." At Minnesota, tenured professors can be dismissed now only if an entire academic department or college is closed. That is not common.

What the regents have been calling for is the power to make layoffs when "programs" are eliminated. They also have wanted the freedom to cut salaries for "adequate cause." Faculty say both terms are too vague. Many academic programs here consist of only a few professors.

The new policy would give the university administrators power to fire the professors they do not like, or who are viewed as too costly to keep. Professors here realize that having absolute job security is a rare privilege, and they continue their fight. They insist that tenure is vital. Without it, they say, an array of scholarly work could be compromised by outside pressures.

(Rene Sanchez's article from "Washington Post",.

Vocabulary to the text:

to decimate - уменьшить на одну десятую;

sacred - священный, неприкосновенный;

tenure - пребывание, срок пребыввания (в должности);

v. пройти по конкурсу;

tuition - плата за образование;

to eliminate - упразднять, отменять, ликвидировать;

faculty - преподавательский состав университета;

part-time faculty - "почасовики";

tenured faculty - штатные сотрудники (= прошедшие по конкурсу);

revolt - восстание, мятеж;

regent - амер. член правления (Board of Regents);

to draft - составить план, черновик;

provision - пункт, положение (договора, документа, закона);

to bargain - здесь: договариваться;

to lay off - увольнять (= dimiss, fire);

to court - здесь: уговаривать;

alumnus (pl. alumni) - (бывший) питомец, выпускник (школы, университета);

to give up - отказаться, уступить, махнуть рукой;

revision - пересмотр;

rebellion - восстание; сопротивление, возмущение;

to negotiate - вести переговоры, договариваться;

straitjacket - смирительная рубашка;

to dismiss - увольнять;

entire - весь, целый;

vital - жизненно необходимый, существенный, важный;

array - порядок, устройство.

Comprehension Check

Ex. Answer the following questions:

  1. What is tenure? On what condition it is given to professors? How long does it exist?

  2. What are the functions of the state's Board of Regents?

  3. What are the goals and proposed measures of the new tenure policy? How does the Board explain it?

  4. In what way it can threaten the faculty?

  5. How do professors fight for their academic freedom?

Word Study to the Text Ex.1 Match the words with their Russian equivalents. 1. official a/ фактически, в сущности 2. to resign b/ требоваться 3. to distribure c/ чиновник, должностное лицо 4. wages d/ убеждать, настаивать 5. to require e/ твердый, непреклонный 6. appointment f/ уменьшать, убавлять 7. to head g/ вынужденное увольнение 8. virtually h/ крайняя необходимость 9. adamant i/ уменьшать, убавлять 10. to refuse j/ зарплата 11. uproar k/ распределять 12. to hint l/ слагать обязанности, уходить в отставку 13. to urge m/ убеждать, настаивать 14. to demote n/ отказываться 15. to urge o/ возглавлять 16. layoff p/ намекать 17. emergency q/ шум, волнение, суматоха 18. to diminish r/ понизить в должности Ex.2 Identify pairs of words close in their meanings (synonyms). to dismiss; to battle; to lead; to occur; to resign; to lay off; rebellion; to cut; scholarly; to reduce; to fight; to retire; entire; virtually; to require; revolt; to happen; scientific; to negotiate; actually; to bargain; to need; to head; all. Ex.3 Match the expressions with their Russian equivalents. 1. to spread misinformation a/ научная работа 2. rare privilege b/ личное предубеждение 3. to suffer tremendous damage c/ пожизненная гарантия 4. outside pressure d/ чрезвычайное нарушение 5. law school e/ увеличение расходов 6. vague term f/ понести огромный урон 7. political science department g/ распространять дезинформацию 8. personal bias h/ разваливающийся университет 9. scholarly work i/ прилежание и сотрудничество 10. entire faculty j/ давление извне 11. sprawling university k/ редкая привилегия/преимущество 12. industry and cooperation l/ быть поставленным на карту 13. rising expenses m/ кафедра политологии 14. extreme misconduct n/ столкнуться с трудностями 15. lifetime guarantee o/ юридическая школа/колледж 16. to be at stake p/ весь преподавательский коллектив 17. to face difficulties q/ неопределенный/расплывчатый термин

Ex. Translate the following expressions. Use them in the sentences below.

new tenure policy, to resign abruptly, to be eliminated, to dismiss, to call for, unionized faculty, to be transferred or demoted, outside pressure, to decimate, to retire, to spread desinformation, to show one's willingness, to draft a plan, to govern, to compromise, state legislature, to cross out a provision, to lead a rebellion, to be appointed, to give up, to reduce expenses, to replace, to face a possibility, a threat, public university.

  1. В начале ноября член правления, который был одним из инициаторов новой кадровой политики, внезапно уволился.

  2. Члены правления призывают к тому, чтобы увольнять преподавателей, когда какие-либо программы отменяются.

  3. Некоторые университеты экономят деньги, не принимая новые кадры взамен ушедших на пенсию.

  4. Правление из 12 человек, которое осуществляет руководство государственными университетами, выработало план по сокращению расходов.

  5. Зав.кафедрой политологии возглавляет восстание.

  6. Они называют это распространением ложной информации среди коллег по всей стране.

  7. Мы сталкиваемся с возможностью уменьшения штата преподавателей на десять процентов.

  8. Некоторые университеты предлагают преподавателям махнуть на это рукой.

  9. Ни один из 30 крупнейших государственных университетов не имеет объединенного союза преподавателей.

  10. Две недели назад они выразили готовность пойти на компромисс по этому вопросу.

  11. Им пришлось вычеркнуть данный пункт.

  12. Штатные преподаватели не могут быть уволены, переведены (на другое место работы) или понижены в должности.

  13. 13.Это означает угрозу академической свободе.

  14. Многие университеты принимают на работу внештатных преподавателей или полагаются на старшекурсников в проведении занятий.

  15. Члены правления назначаются законодательной властью штата.

  16. Шумиха здесь началась прошлой осенью.

  17. Это означает давление извне. Topics for discussion: 1. Tenure. 2. Board of Regents. 3. New tenure policy. 4. Faculty's rebellion.

Text IID

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