NCAC is sponsoring a national contest for young filmmakers on the theme of Free Speech and Democracy. The goal of the contest is to showcase the creative work of young people and to promote awareness of the basic principles of freedom.
Archives for April 2004
Jeremiah Gutman, a dedicated champion of the First Amendment and Chair of the National Coalition Against Censorship, died on February 25, 2004 in Westchester County, New York at age 80. He had been an officer of the Board of Directors of NCAC since the 1980s, first as General Counsel and then as Co-Chair before assuming the Chair in 2001.
A Congressional effort to impose oversight power over some academic programs has passed in the House of Representatives and is being considered by a Senate committee. At issue are area studies programs which the federal government has funded to increase understanding of foreign cultures, languages and politics, and to overcome a shortage of translators and specialists in international affairs. HR 3077, the International Studies in Higher Education Act of 2003, intended to fund studies of strategic importance to the U.S., particularly targets Middle Eastern studies programs. It would establish an advisory board to oversee these programs, ostensibly to make sure that they are not "biased."
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said in September, 2003, that trade embargoes apply to scientific and literary manuscripts by authors from Iran, Cuba, Iraq, Libya and Sudan unless they are "camera ready." Government permission would be needed even for routine edits such as correcting spelling or grammar, or reordering sentences and paragraphs.
The sculpture, Holier Than Thou, provoked heated criticism that it is offensive to Catholics. Critics say the Bishop’s miter is overtly phallic and his expression too dour.