by Natalia Radcliffe
The Valencia campus at College of the Canyons (COC) is preparing to celebrate Banned Books week. This year, The Learning Center (TLC) continues its annual tradition of having a theme with respective events and displays pertaining to banned and challenged books.
This September, the theme is a perfect suburban utopia set in the 1950s, inspired by the book “The Stepford Wives.” Think perfect, neat, houses all looking the same, with neatly trimmed lawns and white picket fences, similar to the perfect, idyllic neighborhoods in the movie “Edward Scissor Hands” or the book “A Wrinkle in Time.”
With this description in mind, the decorations will mimic a perfect suburban neighborhood, including the aesthetics of white picket fences and perfect houses. Music will be playing that portrays a perfect American society.
As of September 6, the specifics pertaining to the activities and presentations were not solidified. According to Miguel Chavez, a lead tutor and major contributor in the planning of events, decorations, and displays for Banned Books Week, the different activities will happen Monday through Thursday. For the one of the activities, Chavez says the TLC is hoping to have a professor from the sociology department come and speak in an open forum style. Another idea is to have a presentation of different films that depict the perfect 1950s suburbia paired with a discussion of how that relates to the censorship of books and other forms of media.
“Mainly, we are really focusing on why the books were banned or challenged,” Chavez said. “We hope people will come way from these events with a more open mind. Just because you hate this book or other form of media and think it’s controversial, does not mean that it should be censored. People are diverse and have different tastes. Perhaps the next person likes it.”
In the spirit of the upcoming Banned Books Week, Chavez says favorite banned/challenged book is “1984” by George Orwell. “I’m very into societal structure,” Chavez explains. “I like the depth of how well the society is depicted. I also enjoy the allegories to real life that are referenced in the book.”
The COC library and Art Gallery are expected to be participating in this event. More information will be available in next week’s issue.