Books

Children's Literature and British Identity

Publication Date: April 12, 2012

For more than 250 years, English children’s literature has transmitted values to the next generation. The stories convey to children what they should identify with and aspire to, even as notions of “goodness” change over time. Through reading, children absorb an ethos of Englishness that grounds personal identity and underpins national consciousness. Such authors as Lewis Carroll, J. R. R. Tolkien, and J. K. Rowling have entertained, motivated, confronted social wrongs, and transmitted cultural mores in their works—functions previously associated with folklore. Their stories form a new folklore tradition that provides social glue and supports a love of England and English values.

In Children’s Literature and British Identity: Imagining a People and a Nation, Rebecca Knuth follows the development of the genre, focusing on how stories inspire children to adhere to the morals of society. This book examines how this tradition came to fruition

Evaluating the connection between children’s literature and the dissemination and formation of identity, this book will appeal to both general readers and academics who are interested in librarianship, English culture, and children’s literature.

Burning Books and Leveling Libraries: Extremist Violence and Cultural Destruction

Publication Date: May 30, 2006

Reviews on Amazon.com

Whether the product of passion or of a cool-headed decision to use ideas to rationalize excess, the decimation of the world's libraries occurred throughout the 20th century, and there is no end in sight. Cultural destruction is, therefore, of increasing concern.

In her previous book Libricide, Rebecca Knuth focused on book destruction by authoritarian regimes: Nazis, Serbs in Bosnia, Iraqis in Kuwait, Maoists during the Cultural Revolution in China, and the Chinese Communists in Tibet. But authoritarian governments are not the only perpetrators. Extremists of all stripes—through terrorism, war, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and other forms of mass violence—are also responsible for widespread cultural destruction, as she demonstrates in this new book.

Burning Books and Leveling Libraries is structured in three parts. Part I is devoted to struggles by extremists over voice and power at the local level, where destruction of books and libraries is employed as a tactic of political or ethnic protest. Part II discusses the aftermath of power struggles in Germany, Afghanistan, and Cambodia, where the winners were utopians who purged libraries in efforts to purify their societies and maintain power. Part III examines the fate of libraries when there is war and a resulting power vacuum.

The book concludes with a discussion of the events in Iraq in 2003, and the responsibility of American war strategists for the widespread pillaging that ensued after the toppling of Saddam Hussein. This case poignantly demonstrates the ease with which an oppressed people, given the collapse of civil restraints, may claim freedom as license for anarchy, construing it as the right to prevail, while ignoring its implicit mandate of social responsibility. Using military might to enforce ideals (in this case democracy and freedom) is futile, Knuth argues, if insufficient consideration is given to humanitarian, security, and cultural concerns.

Libricide: The Regime-Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries in the Twentieth Century

Publication Date: July 30, 2003

Reviews on Amazon.com

Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings, declared German poet Heinrich Heine. This book identifies the regime-sponsored, ideologically driven, and systemic destruction of books and libraries in the 20th century that often served as a prelude or accompaniment to the massive human tragedies that have characterized a most violent century. Using case studies of libricide committed by Nazis, Serbs in Bosnia, Iraqis in Kuwait, Maoists during the Cultural Revolution in China, and Chinese Communists in Tibet, Knuth argues that the destruction of books and libraries by authoritarian regimes was sparked by the same impulses toward negation that provoked acts of genocide or ethnocide.

Readers will learn why some people—even those not subject to authoritarian regimes—consider the destruction of books a positive process. Knuth promotes understanding of the reasons behind extremism and patterns of cultural terrorism, and concludes that what is at stake with libricide is nothing less than the preservation and continuation of the common cultural heritage of the world. Anyone committed to freedom of expression and humanistic values will embrace this passionate and valuable book.

Chapters in Books

2009
Knuth, Rebecca and Michelle Cloonan. “Libraries, Archives and the Pursuit of Access.” In The Impact of 9-11 on the Media, Arts, and Entertainment:The Day that Changed Everything? Ed. Matthew J. Morgan and Rory Stewart. Palgrave MacMillan.
2007
Knuth, Rebecca. “Genocide: Beyond Remembrance or Denial.” In Fear of Persecution: Global Human Rights, International Law and Human Wellbeing. Lexington Books.
2006
Knuth, Rebecca. “Genocide: Beyond Remembrance or Denial.” In Fear of Persecution: Global Human Rights, International Law and Human Wellbeing. Lexington Books.
2004
Knuth, Rebecca. “China's Destruction of the Libraries of Tibet.” In Lost Libraries, ed. James Raven. New York: Palgrave.
2002
Knuth, Rebecca. “Systematic Book Burning as Evil?” In Cultural Expressions of Evil and Wickedness, ed. Teri Waddell. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
1998
Knuth, Rebecca. “Family Literacy: A Critical Role for Libraries Worldwide.” In Global Reach, Local Touch, ed. Kathleen de la Pena. Chicago: ALA.
1997
Knuth, Rebecca. “The IASL Newsletter (1971-1994): A Content Analysis and Historical Overview.” In School Librarianship: International Issues and Perspectives. Hi Willow.
1996
Knuth, Rebecca, Brigitte Duces, and Barbara Perry. “Libraries, Literacy, and Developing Countries.” In Promoting Reading in Developing Countries, ed. Vincent Greaney. International Reading Association.

Encyclopedia Articles

2008
Knuth, Rebecca. “Censorship.” In Encyclopedia of the Modern World. Oxford University Press.
2002
Knuth, Rebecca. “Libricide: The State-Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries.” In Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. Volume 72, ed. Allen Kent. New York: Marcel Dekker.
2001
Knuth, Rebecca. “International Models of School Librarianship.” In Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. Volume 71, ed. Allen Kent. New York: Marcel Dekker.

Online Editorials

2006
Knuth, Rebecca. “Accounting for the Destruction of Iraq’s Books and Libraries in 2003.” History News Network (HNN) Sept. 15, archived copy

Interviews

2008
Knuth, Rebecca, "75th Anniversary of the Nazi Book Burnings", ABEBooks.com, archived copy

Refereed Journal Articles

1999
Knuth, Rebecca. “Sovereignty, Globalism, and Information Flow in Complex Emergencies.” The Information Society 15(1): 11-19.
1999
Knuth, Rebecca. “On a Spectrum: International Models of School Librarianship.” The Library Quarterly 69(1): 33-56.
1999
Knuth, Rebecca and Donna Bair-Mundy. “Revolt Over Outsourcing: Hawaii’s Librarians Speak Out About Contracted Selection.” Collection Management 23(1/2): 81-112.
1999
Knuth, Rebecca. “Innovation Diffusion: Proposal of an Organizing Theory On Which To Base Research in School Library Development.” Library and Information Science Research 19(3): 301-313.
1999
Knuth, Rebecca. “The Effect on Developing Countries of Hosting an International Conference: A Content Analysis.” World Libraries 8(1): 4-13.
1997
Knuth, Rebecca. “Through the Lens of Theory: Perspectives on an International Library Organization.” International Information and Library Review 28: 303-329.
1996
Knuth, Rebecca. “The Impact of an International Organization on School Librarianship in Jamaica.” Third World Libraries 6(2): 36-52.
1996
Knuth, Rebecca. “Through Members’ Eyes: A Survey of the Membership of the International Association of School Librarianship.” School Libraries Worldwide 2(2): 33-53.
1997
Knuth, Rebecca. “An International Forum: The History of the International Association of School Librarianship.” School Libraries Worldwide 2(2): 1-32.
1996
Knuth, Rebecca. “Adaptation, Goal Achievement, Integration, and Latency: An Analysis of the Projects and Programs of the International Association of School Librarianship.” School Libraries Worldwide 2(2): 54-97.
1995
Knuth, Rebecca. “Factors in the Development of School Libraries in Great Britain and the United States: A Comparative Study.” International Information and Library Review 27: 265-282.
1993
Knuth, Rebecca. “Libraries, Literacy, and Development: Combined Libraries as an Option for Developing Countries.” International Information and Library Review 26: 77-89.

Non-Refereed Journal Articles

1999
Knuth, Rebecca. “Building a Literate Environment: Using Oral-Based Reading Materials to Facilitate Literacy.” IFLA Journal January, 1999.
1999
Knuth, Rebecca. “School Librarianship and Macro-Level Policy Issues.” IFLA Journal 21(4): 290-298.
1999
Knuth, Rebecca. “Five International Organizations Linking Children and Books.” IFLA Journal 428-440.
1999
Knuth, Rebecca. “The Changing Role of the American School Librarian.” International Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship 9(3).
1994
Callison, Daniel and Rebecca Knuth. “The AIME Indiana Survey of School Library Media Programs.” Indiana Media Journal 16(3): 103-160.
1993
Knuth, Rebecca. “Japan and Malaysia: How Two Countries Promote the Reading Habit.” International Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship 8(3): 169-180.

Book Reviews

2008
Knuth, Rebecca. “Review of Lucien Polastron’s Books on Fire.” The Times Higher Education Supplement. January 4, 2008, p. 25.
2004
Knuth, Rebecca. “Review of Paul S. Boyer's Purity in Print: Book Censorship in America from the Gilded Age to the Computer Age.” The Library Quarterly 74(4):475-477.

Collections of Papers

1998
Knuth, Rebecca. “From Orality to Literacy Through Local Culture.” Literacy and Reading Services to Cultural and Linguistic Minorities: Section on Reading, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Conference, Aug. 20, 1998, Amsterdam.