Associate Professor and BS/IS Program Director Emily Knox has published a paper, "Silencing Stories: Challenges to Diverse Books," in The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion (IJIDI). According to Knox, over the past few years, there have been an increasing number of diverse books on the Most Challenged Books List from the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom. Her latest work expands on a previous discourse analysis of censorship on challenges to diverse books through more robust analysis of the challenge cases.
"I completed this research in order to explore the arguments that people make to justify removing or restricting these books that are so important for understanding what it means to be human," Knox said. "Not surprisingly, there are many similarities with these justifications."
The paper focuses on common themes found in the arguments that book challengers give for the redaction, restriction, relocation, and removal of diverse titles in and from school curricula, school libraries, and public library collections in the U.S. It concludes with recommendations for protecting access to diverse books in public libraries and schools.
Knox's research interests include information access, intellectual freedom and censorship, information ethics, information policy, and the intersection of print culture and reading practices. At the iSchool, she teaches a course on intellectual freedom and censorship and a course on information ethics. Her books include Book Banning in 21st Century America, Document Delivery and Interlibrary Loan on a Shoestring, and Foundations of Information Ethics, which she co-edited with John T. F. Burgess.
Knox received her PhD from the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University and her MS from the iSchool at Illinois. She also holds a BA in religious studies from Smith College and an AM in the same field from The University of Chicago Divinity School.