Join us on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 6:30 pm for a ZOOM conversation with bestselling nonfiction writer and feminist activist Dr. Naomi Wolf.
Presented in conversation with SNMA Executive Director Hunter O’Hanian, New York Times Naomi Wolf will share her recent book, "Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalization of Love" "Outrages" explores the history of state-sponsored censorship and violations of personal freedoms through the inspiring, forgotten history of one writer’s refusal to stay silenced.
About Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalization of Love
In 1857, Britain codified a new civil divorce law and passed a severe new obscenity law. An 1861 Act of Parliament streamlined the harsh criminalization of sodomy. These and other laws enshrined modern notions of state censorship and validated state intrusion into people’s private lives.
In 1861, John Addington Symonds, a twenty-one-year-old student at Oxford who already knew he loved and was attracted to men, hastily wrote out a seeming renunciation of the long love poem he’d written to another young man.
Outrages chronicles the struggle and eventual triumph of Symonds—who would became a poet, biographer, and critic—at a time in British history when even private letters that could be interpreted as homoerotic could be used as evidence in trials leading to harsh sentences under British law.
Drawing on the work of a range of scholars of censorship and of LGBTQ+ legal history, Wolf depicts how state censorship, and state prosecution of same-sex sexuality, played out—decades before the infamous trial of Oscar Wilde—shadowing the lives of people who risked in new ways scrutiny by the criminal justice system.