Professor to discuss FBI's war on obscenity

ERIE, Pa. -- Douglas Charles, author of the new book “The FBI’s Obscene File: J. Edgar Hoover and the Bureau’s Crusade Against Smut” will speak at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College on Oct. 18.

Charles will discuss “The FBI, Obscenity and History” at 7:30 p.m. in 001 Jack Burke Research and Economic Development Center, 5101 Jordan Road. This Humanities and Social Sciences Colloquium Series event is free and open to the public. Free parking will be available in the deck south of Burke Center, off Technology Drive.

Illuminating a largely neglected aspect of FBI history, Charles charts the evolution of the FBI’s efforts to combat the spread of obscenity and its perceived insidious effects. He contends that, especially during the five decades under J. Edgar Hoover, these efforts were a surprisingly high priority and at times wielded expressly for political ends, even as Hoover hid the file from public view in order to preserve the Bureau’s squeaky-clean image.

Charles is a 1995 Penn State Behrend alumnus and assistant professor of history at Penn State Greater Allegheny. He also is the author of “J. Edgar Hoover and the Anti-interventionists: FBI Political Surveillance and the Rise of the Domestic Security State, 1939-45” and "'Sex Deviates': The FBI and Gays, 1937-1987," which will be published by the University Press of Kansas in 2015.

This seminar is offered through a partnership of the campuses of Altoona, Beaver, Behrend, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, New Kensington and Shenango. For additional information, call 814-898-6108.

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Last Updated October 11, 2012