August 20-21, 2024
Free People Read Freely: Literacy, Inclusion, and Democracy
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and the I Hotel
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois System will host a symposium in August that will feature speakers and panel discussions on topics including book banning, censorship, and the importance of reading and books to fostering public dialogue, inclusion, and engaged citizenship.

An opening keynote conversation, moderated by UIUC faculty member and Urbana poet laureate Ruby Mendenhall, will feature authors Clint Smith and George M. Johnson . The second day will open with a keynote from writer, activist, and professor Tony Diaz, who led the 2012 Librotraficante Caravan to smuggle banned books back into Arizona in defiance of the state’s ban of Mexican American studies at that time. Other features of the symposium are panel discussions and presentations addressing issues around book banning, censorship, and the importance of reading to inclusion and citizenship. We will also have UIUC theater students presenting performative readings from banned books, and other fun participatory activities. The opening keynote will take place in the Tryon Festival Theater at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana. The rest of the symposium will take place at the I Hotel in Champaign.

Additional details will be announced soon.

Portfolio of Resources

Watch recordings of previous University of Illinois Press Publishing Symposium sessions:

Questions? Contact Gary Smith, University of Illinois Press, Gary Smith