Current Exhibitions & Events


Publisher as Provocateur – Samuel Roth in Context

Kempner Gallery
January 21, 2014 – May 30, 2014

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"Publisher as Provocateur" is a major exhibition focusing on the career of twentieth-century maverick publisher Samuel Roth. The exhibition includes materials from the Samuel Roth papers held by the RBML as well as other holdings, including the archives of Random House, Lyle Stuart, Barney Rosset, and the Vanguard Press.  These collections are part of the RBML’s extensive holdings of publishers’ archives, which also include the papers of Harper & Bros. and Harper & Row, the Kulchur Press, and more recent additions including the archives of the Dalkey Archive PressKitchen Sink Press, the New Press, and Granary Books

The exhibition includes materials related to the complicated publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses in Europe and the United States, and the repercussions of Roth’s court cases for later publishers such as the Grove Press and Lyle Stuart.  The broader context that the exhibition provides for Roth’s career includes the longer history of publication of sexually explicit material such as Fanny Hill, the publication of political exposes, and the use of subscription models and mail orders to avoid censorship. More

Thursday, January 23, 5:30pm
Robert Spoo, Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Tulsa
“James Joyce v. Samuel Roth: How an Author Without Copyrights Sued a Publisher Without Courtesy”
Cosponsored with the Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts

Wednesday, February 19, 7pm
A screening of Obscene, a documentary about publisher Barney Rosset
Introduced by the film's co-director, Daniel O'Connor
Chang Room, Columbia Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Monday, April 21st, 6pm
Comedy, Censorship, Policing: A panel discussion to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the arrest in New York City of comedian Lenny Bruce on charges of obscenity with Martin Garbus, trial lawyer from the defense team that defended Bruce in New York in 1964 and Joan Bertin, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Censorship
Butler Library Room 523
Followed by a reception in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Wednesday, April 30, 6pm
"Lewd or Literary? When Are Graphic Novels Too Graphic," a panel with Robert Berry, cartoonist and creator of Ulysses Seen; Chad Rutkowski, copyright attorney and Business Manager of Throwaway Horse LLC; and Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
523 Butler Library
Followed by a reception in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Wednesday, May 7, 6:30pm
"'The 'Modern Classics' in New York: Samuel Roth, Bennett Cerf, and the Americanization of James Joyce's Ulysses," a talk by Kevin Birmingham, Lecturer in History and Literature, Harvard University, and author of The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses (Penguin, 2014)
523 Butler Library
Followed by a reception in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library

For a full listing of events, please visit the Libraries Event Calendar.



For more information on the exhibitions, receptions, panels and hours please see: /content/libraryweb/indiv/rbml.html or call 212-854-5590.

Additional RBML-related events

Please visit the calendar on the Alumni and Friends Gateway, and the RBML Book History Colloquium.