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censorship or sensitivity?

A question: I am making a display of books made into movies/tv shows. (I am in a university library and we want to showcase some of our less academic collections as students start to arrive for the new year.) One of the books is Agatha Christie's "Ten little N******", and we have the 2015 tv adaptation "And then there were none". It's a very good adaptation, and has a NZ actor in it, so I wanted to include it. However I'm concerned because of the title of the original book. Am I being oversensitive? Thoughts? Thank you!

**EDIT** Thanks everyone for your thoughtful answers! My new plan is to leave it out of the books & movies display, but include it in a display later this year about censorship and banned books. That will be a more serious display and the ideas around "things that were ok in the past and really aren't now" can be properly addressed. Thanks!


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 23rd, 2018 02:33 am (UTC)
This could be tricky. I would definitely talk to a few other people on campus, see how they think the students/faculty would react. And if you do choose to include the book, I would add a little note card (like in a museum display, maybe?) explaining the history of the title and how it is no longer appropriate. That way you can be authentic and sensitive.
Jan. 23rd, 2018 03:33 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing you're in NZ (from your comment about an NZ actor) and not in the US. In the US, especially here in the South where I am, I would leave it out. Tensions are running pretty high, and I would not want to make them worse (plus, I wouldn't want to turn off potential readers because they think Agatha Christie should be fitted out with a white robe and a pointy hat.) N***** is a word with a lot of impact in the US, and if you aren't part of the group referred to, you do not want to use it lightly.

I'd second ami_ven 's suggestion to talk to some folks on campus, especially anyone you might know who is from a group that might be referred to as that word.
Jan. 23rd, 2018 05:05 pm (UTC)
There are newer versions of that book with a more appropriate title usually Ten Little Indians. I like the historical display but maybe see if you can find a more recent edition.
Jan. 24th, 2018 06:03 pm (UTC)
My non-professional take would be--does the book fill a gap? Would you have to say that the display doesn't make sense without it? Are there other books that didn't make the cut, but might be included if there were room for them?

Take 2 would be to highlight it, along with other versions, and with some words about how attitudes have changed over time and literature has changed with them.
Jan. 25th, 2018 04:38 am (UTC)
It would be great if you could get a retitled copy...here in the US you'd be taking your job in your hands if you included a book with that title in a display (assuming no sign, disclaimer, etc., and even then it would be iffy).
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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the fuck
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