Welcome to English Stage 2: 666 Banned Books: Censored & Restricted 20th-Century Fiction.

I've been asked to guest-convene and teach the course for the second semester of this year.

My contact details in the Department will be:

Rm 302A
Arts 1
3737599 x 673520
Teaching Hours: Monday 3-4 pm / Thursday 1-3 pm
Office hour: Monday 2-3 pm.

If you need to see me outside those times, please phone or email to make an appointment.

The tutorials will be taken by myself and Dr Claire Talbot. Her contact details are:

Rm 522
Arts 1
Teaching Hours: Thursday 1-3 pm
Office hours: Thursday 11-12 am.

The student representative for this paper is:

Daniel Carfax

So what exactly is the course? Here's what's up on the university website:


ENGLISH 2: 666
Banned Books:
Censored & Restricted 20th-Century Fiction


15.0 points


This course aims to help students examine a number of recent novels which have been banned or restricted for one reason or another by their respective societies. We will therefore be placing most of our emphasis on the cultural background and reasoning behind various types of censorship, but this will also be complemented by close reading and discussion of the novels as literary texts. The first three works to be studied will be James Joyce's Ulysses (1922), Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness (1928), and D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928).


Semester 2



Authors / Texts:

  1. James Joyce (1882-1941): Ulysses (1922) - banned in Britain and America [moral censorship]
  2. Radclyffe Hall (1880-1943): The Well of Loneliness (1928) - banned in Britain [moral censorship]
  3. D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930): Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928) - banned in Britain and America [moral censorship]
  4. Henry Miller (1891-1980): Tropic of Cancer (1934) - banned in Britain and America [moral censorship]
  5. Graham Greene (1904-1991): The Power and the Glory (1940) - censured by the Vatican [religious censorship]
  6. Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977): Lolita (1955) - banned in Britain [moral censorship]
  7. Boris Pasternak (1890-1960): Doctor Zhivago (1957) - banned in the USSR [political censorship]
  8. William Burroughs (1914-1997): Naked Lunch (1959) - banned in Britain and America [moral censorship]
  9. Kathy Acker (1947-1997): The Adult Life of Toulouse Lautrec (1975) - withdrawn from sale in Britain [accused of plagiarism]
  10. Salman Rushdie (b. 1947): The Satanic Verses (1988) - banned in most of the Islamic world [religious censorship]


2 Group Seminars - 20% [10% each]
Essay (1200-1500 words) - 20%
3-hour Exam (closed book) - 60%


Any 30 points at Stage I in English



So all I ask of you, our prospective students (at any rate for the moment) is to read the books and see what you think of them. Then come along to tutorials ready to debate your views.

What I'm going to do is put up a homepage here for each of our ten authors, and another (linked) page for each of the ten novels. These will be easy accessible from the side of your screen, and will be updated periodically as new information and links come to hand.

When lectures start, I'll also be putting up notes about each session, together with information about tutorials and assignments which you can either print out or consult here online.

NB: Previous versions of the course have included a lecture on Hubert Selby Jr.'s Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964). This has now been replaced by Kathy Acker's Adult Life of Toulouse Lautrec. Please ignore any references to Selby's novel in course materials printed before the substitution took place. It will not be included in the essay topics, nor will you be able to answer on it in the exam. You may, however, decide to read it as an interesting background text.

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