Indianapolis Celebrates Freedom to Read with Banned Books Week “Prisoner” and Week of Programming

banned-buttonJoin us as we transform the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library into a cozy salon where community members can gather to ask big questions about art, citizenship and humanity. This year, Banned Books Week is September 24-September 29, and we are thrilled to welcome a host of guests to discuss censorship, book banning, and many other topics. Please RSVP for the celebrations here!

Rai Peterson

This year, Rai Peterson, will spend the week in our storefront museum window, trapped behind a “prison” wall constructed of banned books.

Rai is a faculty member in the Department of English at Ball State University. She and her students participated in an immersive learning project to create a traveling exhibit, oral history interviews, a digital document repository, a business plan, and items for the gift shop at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in 2012.

The following year, students and she took the exhibit to Dresden, Germany where they gave public presentations about Kurt Vonnegut and Slaughterhouse-Five. Rai serves on the Advisory Board to the KVML.


2018 Banned Books Week Schedule

Monday, Sept 24
  • Noon Lunch Series: IU School of Liberal Arts professor, Trevor Potts, discusses the 1st and 2nd amendments with students through the lens of Vonnegut’s Jailbird. All are welcome to engage in this discussion alongside IUPUI students!
    • Bring your lunch
    • 12-1 p.m.
    • KVML, 340 N. Senate Ave.
    • Free!
  • Evening Event: Lonesome at Home: The Vonneguts and Mental Health
Tuesday, Sept 25
  • Noon Lunch Series: Curator Chris Lafave reads excepts from Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs followed by a digital recording of Burroughs reading himself.
    • Bring your lunch
    • 12-1 p.m.
    • KVML, 340 N. Senate Ave.
    • Free!
  • Evening Event: Naked Lunch Film Screening
Wednesday, Sept 26
Thursday, Sept 27
  • Noon Lunch Series: Ed Dowling of Operation Ingsoc discusses fighting censorship and his research.
    • Bring your lunch
    • 12-1 p.m.
    • KVML, 340 N. Senate Ave
    • Free!
  • Evening Event: Too Much of a Good Thing
Friday, Sept 28
  • Noon Lunch Series: Reading from Hunter S. Thompson’s Kentucky Derby and discuss gambling addiction.
    • Bring your lunch
    • 12-1 p.m.
    • KVML, 340 N. Senate Ave
    • Free!
  • Evening Event: Alabama Story
    • Dramatic reading of Alabama Story with talk back after the performance with playwright, Kenneth Jones.
    • In the two-act Alabama Story, a gentle children’s book with an apparent hidden message — a black rabbit marries a white rabbit! — stirs the passions of a segregationist State Senator and a no-nonsense State Librarian in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama, just as the civil rights movement is flowering. Another story of childhood friends — an African-American man and a white woman, reunited in adulthood in Montgomery that same year — provides private counterpoint to the public events of the play. (www.bykennethjones.com)
    • 6-8 p.m.
    • Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall at Butler University, 4600 Sunset Ave
    • Free!
    • RSVP and share with your Facebook friends here
    • Reserve your seat here (space is limited)
Saturday, Sept 29
  • Youth Day
    • The week ends with a program for teens led by NAMI Indiana, Youth MOVE Indiana, Rai Peterson, and others discuss issues that impact Indiana youth.
    • More information to come!
  • Literary Madness
    • Speakers will be discussing the lives of a few famous literary figures such as Sylvia Plath, Assia Weviel, and Zelda Fitzgerald. Guests can surely expect some “Literary Madness!” 
    • More information to come!

There will be something new to see and something more to learn every day at the Vonnegut Museum and Library during Banned Books Week. You don’t want to miss this week!

Check out the list of banned or challenged books.

Become a defender of intellectual freedom

The Vonnegut Museum and Library seeks support for its Banned Books Week activities this year. We are looking for donations and volunteers. To learn more about our Banned Books Week activities and donate to the cause, email us.  Please e-mail us at [email protected] if you can help with events.