Better Art Through Censorship (Ban This Book)

Charles Riley at Strand Bookstore

Fri, Sep 29 at 7 p.m.   |   90 minutes

Charles Riley, who taught and wrote under extreme government censorship in China while helping dissidents, tracks the network of censorship that targeted Joyce's Ulysses and other "obscene" books.

For many of the greats of literary Modernism, including James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Djuna Barnes, e.e. cummings, Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos, the ultimate cat and mouse game with the censors was played on a global scale. More than a decade before the Nazi book burnings turned public opinion against the obscenity laws, writers and their publishers defied the law, and we will examine the extraordinary symbolic richness of the writing that fooled the censors (Solzhenitsyn, Du Fu) as well as the ways that some writers and editors caved in to the authorities (Dos Passos).

Charles Riley, who taught and wrote under extreme government censorship in China while helping dissidents, tracks the network of censorship that targeted Joyce's Ulysses and other "obscene" books.

Teacher: Charles Riley

Charles Riley II is the director of the Nassau County Museum of Art, an arts journalist, curator and professor at Clarkson University. He graduated from Princeton and received his Phd from City College of New York.


Venue: Strand Bookstore

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info


Other Upcoming Olios


New Toys and New Tyrants: Capitalism and the Rise of Platform Economics

Location: at Online

Teacher: Rob Larson

June 4, 2020, 8 p.m.

A Dialogue: Buddhism and the Stoics

Location: at Online

Teacher: Bhante Kusala & Michael Prettyman

June 5, 2020, 8 p.m.

Seeing the Subconscious: Mindfulness, Psychology, and the Road to Healing Racism

Location: at Online

Teacher: Darryl Aiken-Afam & Robin Schlenger

June 7, 2020, 7 p.m.

Internet Omnipresence & Critical Thinking

Location: at Online

Teacher: Jeanne Proust

June 8, 2020, 8 p.m.

Escape From The City

Location: at Online

Teacher: Ted Barrow

June 10, 2020, 8 p.m.

Progressives, Radicals & Well-Meaning Liberals

Location: at Online

Teacher: Angie Beeman

June 11, 2020, 8 p.m.

Plato Goes East: The Republic and The Bhagavad Gita

Location: at Online

Teacher: Vishwa Adluri

June 14, 2020, noon

Socialism, A Day in the Life

Location: at Online

Teacher: Danny Katch

June 15, 2020, 8 p.m.


Stay in Touch


Instagram Mailing List Contact

Get Involved


Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.