We don’t need no education: belief, and the expurgation of US public school literature texts in response to activist beliefs

Taylor, Sara (2017) We don’t need no education: belief, and the expurgation of US public school literature texts in response to activist beliefs. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

The critical component of this thesis examines the expurgation of literature
textbooks produced for use in government-funded American schools in the 1970s
and 80s with regards to the manner in which this affected the texts’ complexity and
potential as both works of fiction and educational materials, and the present-day
implications of this expurgation. It also addresses the differences and similarities in
the goals and methods of the two major advocacy groups who called for the books to
be altered and the manner in which methods changed as the political and cultural
climate of the United States became more conservative, and challenges the
arguments of earlier writers on the subject in light of new research.
The creative component of the thesis is the first third of a completed novel
titled Belief, which follows an American nuclear family over forty years, from when
the parents come of age during the Women’s Movement to when their nearly-adult
children attempt to come to terms with their restrictive religious upbringing at the
turn of the century. The novel focuses on the parents’ turn to Evangelical Christianity
as a way of surviving personal tragedy; their decision to educate their three children
at home in reaction to the Satanic Panic and public school textbook lawsuits of the
1980s; and the ways that their children’s experiences of faith, their repressive
environment, and the dissonance between their parents’ and church’s expectations
and who they naturally are causes conflict both within their family and in their wider
community.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing
Depositing User: Katie Miller
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2017 13:42
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2019 00:38
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/64223
DOI:

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