Banned Books Course


Tuesdays from 10 January until 14 February 2023

Books have been banned, burned, and blacklisted since humans created them. As receptacles for knowledge and ideas, books represent not only tools for enlightenment but also, for some, pose a serious threat to social order. Examining this worrisome practice both historically and in the present helps us understand our common future.

Join New York Times journalist and author Nina Siegal as she delves into the issue of banned books in the United States in a six-part lecture and discussion series. Banning books as a form of censure and control is once again on the rise, not only in the US, but across the world. But why is this a cause for concern? Because banning books is also often a harbinger for other forms of cultural violence.

All sessions will take place from 7:30-8:30pm in the Theater at De Thomas (Prinses Irenestraat 36, Amsterdam). Coffee and tea available in advance, and the bar will be open after each session.

10 January 2023 – Introduction to Banned Books: a historical and cultural analysis Multiple
17 January 2023 – Dystopia, authority, and power: George Orwell’s ‘1984’.
24 January 2023 – Race relations and Civil Rights: Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.
31 January 2023 – The graphic turn (Graphic Novels): ‘MAUS’ (Art Spiegelman) and ‘Persepolis’ (Marjane Satrapi)
7 February 2023 – LGBTQIA liberation and rights: Maia Kobabe’s ‘GenderQueer’
14 February 2023 – Critical race theory and sparking cultural debate Selections from Nikole Hannah Jones’ 1619 Project

 Click here to buy these titles (and many more banned books) with a 10% discount at Athenaeum Boekhandel using discount code JAI10%.

Participation is open to anyone interested in these topics. Knowledge of the books discussed is not required. A willingness to enter thoughtful dialogue with fellow course mates and an open mind are essential.

Payment is due upon registration and can be made by bank transfer.
• €60: Total price for all six sessions.
• €45: Reduced price for John Adams Family, Friends, Members & Patrons, and participants via De Thomas.
• €30: Reduced price for students.

• Please register and submit payment via this link no later than Wednesday 4 January 2023. Registration is on a first-come first-served basis.
• You will receive a confirmation email within a week of your registration.
• We will update you in the first week of January with final course-related information.

Questions? Email Program Coordinator Ian Kenny at or call us at 020 624 7280 (Monday to Friday from 9-5).