Black, Joel Elan (2003) 'Arrested for selling poetry!' or 'You wouldn't want your children reading this' : the historical significance of the "Howl" obscenity trial. Masters thesis, Concordia University.
This study looks at the relationship between the obscenity trial over Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl" and the conservative Cold War culture of the 1950s that it criticized. "Howl" emerged in a broader context of a cultural transition, involving music, film and literature. Moreover, the poem was tried and freed just months after the Supreme Court rewrote literary obscenity law and made "redeeming social importance" its primary test. Concerns about the deleterious effect of cultural items were manifest in the debates over juvenile delinquency. The media, who initially supported "Howl's" First Amendment right to speech, was subsequently critical of the counter culture that the poem symbolized and engaged in an extra judicial public censoring of that culture. Although censorship efforts failed to silence "Howl", the repressive cultural agenda of the domestic Cold War American media in the 1950s operated to powerful effect.
|Divisions:||Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History|
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Authors:||Black, Joel Elan|
|Pagination:||v, 93 leaves ; 29 cm.|
|Degree Name:||Theses (M.A.)|
|Thesis Supervisor(s):||Carr, Graham|
|Deposited By:||Concordia University Libraries|
|Deposited On:||27 Aug 2009 17:24|
|Last Modified:||08 Dec 2010 15:24|
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