1) Callahan, Matthew

  1. 2)Corcoran, Miranda

  2. 3)Deanda, Elena

  3. 4)Grimshaw, Rachel

  4. 5)Harris, Sarah Kimberlin

  5. 6)Herman, Debbie

  6. 7)Inglis, Kristin

  7. 8)Majewska, Ewa

  8. 9)Moorhouse, Aynsley

  9. 10) Pierre, Richard Lee

  10. 11) Toymentsev, Sergey

  11. 12) Webb, Laura

Editor's Introduction: A Call to Arms!

When it was determined at the beginning of the fall term that this

issue would focus on censorship, I knew the topic was a timely one.

The proliferation of digital media is occasioning unprecedented

opportunities for disseminating information. Last year in Iran,

Twitter was crucial in contesting the disputed elections when heavy

government censorship shut down media and messaging services including

Facebook and YouTube. [Read about it here]. Closer to home,

the Vancouver Winter Olympics were dogged by questions of corporate

domination and the resultant threats to freedom of expression,

especially within the artistic community.

Ongoing debates about Facebook in China continue to raise a host of

questions about the role new media will play in an increasingly

digitized, globalized world.

Given Transverse's debut as an entirely web-based publication, it was

only fitting to study the contours of its new home. Some of the

articles in this edition are similarly inclined, while others

interrogate the manifestations of censorship throughout history and

across a variety of media including novels, magazines, visual arts,

and folk songs, to name a few. The articles explore many facets of a

theme that is pertinent across disciplines.

At the time of publication, certain events within the University of

Toronto have made the theme of censorship even more urgent on a

personal level. With practically no advance notice and an unsettling

lack of transparency, the Strategic Planning Committee has decided to

cancel the the University of Toronto's Comparative Literature

programme and disband the department by 2011. East Asian Studies is

likewise under siege, and most of U of T's language departments are

slated to be merged under a single umbrella within a proposed School

of Language and Literature. Had students been consulted, we would have

been united in decrying these cuts from the beginning; now that plans

are underway to carry out this plan, we must speak with even more

force. It is already difficult to do interdisciplinary study at the

University of Toronto, and the proposed changes would make it

virtually impossible to undertake the research that has resulted in

the acclaim of our students and faculty. If these changes go ahead,

this will be the last issue of Transverse; sadly, this is only the

beginning of a list of entities that will cease to exist. Several

websites have been set up in solidarity with our efforts to fight the

university's decision, and I invite you to find them on the links

page. Please spread the word about the plight of comparative

literature departments across the country and around the world. We

must affirm the value of studying literature for itself. We must

resist its being commodified into a dollars and cents equation in

which it inevitably comes up short. It is our hope that electronic

media will help us spread our message in what is truly a time of

crisis for the Centre for Comparative Literature, as for the

university community at large.

Thanks for your readership and support.

Myra Bloom,


Photo: Thierry Draus