Timed to coincide with Banned Books Week 2018, the four-case exhibition “Literature vs. the Law” highlights legal cases involving the written word. A variety of materials drawn from the circulating collection, Special Collections, and the Film and Video Collection represent complaints against authors such as Salman Rushdie and Jay-Z, and against works from Allen Ginsberg's Howl to J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter. Charged with an array of offenses—blasphemy, obscenity, defamation, plagiarism, fraud, and insulting a nation—many of the featured authors and publishers were eventually cleared or acquitted. The penalties imposed on others raise important questions about the freedom of the press and intellectual property rights.

Curated by Aimee Gee