“The Importance of Being Morris L. Ernst—The Man Who Took on the Censors and Freed Ulysses”

Brett Gary, Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, delivers the Stanley Burnshaw Lecture “The Importance of Being Morris L. Ernst—The Man Who Took on the Censors and Freed Ulysses” on Thursday, September 29, at 7 p.m. at the Harry Ransom Center. The Morris L. Ernst collection is housed at the Ransom Center.

 

Morris Leopold Ernst was among the nation’s most prominent civil liberties lawyers from the late 1920s until World War II. He was known especially for his challenges to far-reaching state and federal obscenity laws, known as the “Comstock Laws.”  By the eve of World War II, no one in the United States had done more to thwart censors’ attacks on a variety of cultural forms, from modernist literature to nudism, from burlesque theater to birth control.  Yet the political alliances Ernst forged because of his ardent anti-communism diminished his reputation in the last decades of his life, and his name elicits little recognition today.

 

The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Line forms upon arrival of the first patron, and doors open 30 minutes in advance. View a live webcast of this program at www.hrc.utexas.edu/webcast.