Wichita State University Erotic Art Society Collection

Collection Summary

Title: Wichita State University Erotic Art Society Collection
Call Number: MS 87-16
Size: 0.5 linear feet
Acquisition: Donated by the Wichita State University Student Government Association (SGA)
Processed By: LTM, 4-21-1987; Reprocessed by JEF, 1-21-1998; Reprocessed by MN, 12-2008
Note: None
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Restrictions

None

Content Note

The WSU Erotic Art Society Collection contains materials related to an incident concerning obscenity and free speech that took place in Wichita, Kansas, over a period of weeks in 1977. Included in the collection are the 1981 manuscript, Erotic Art Society: The Cases for Free Inquiry. An Account of a Controversy, a recording of a radio news report concerning the incident, and the court proceedings from the 1977 case of the State of Kansas vs. Neil Cook, President of the Erotic Art Society, Wichita State University.

Administrative History

The WSU Erotic Art Society Collection report a story that took place in Wichita, Kansas, over a period of weeks in 1977. It concerned obscenity and free speech and the other issues which these have come to represent. The main protagonists of the story were the District Attorney and his followers, who were against obscenity; versus the student president of the WSU Erotic Art Society and his supporters, who were for free speech.
The story begins when Neil Cook proceeded to show “The Devil in Miss Jones,” a film which District Attorney Vern Miller had warned was an obscene film and should not be viewed. On Thursday evening, February 10, 1977, the film was shown. Representatives of the District Attorney's office seized the film, and a week later Neil Cook was arrested and charged with promoting obscenity.
Reactions to this event divided the University and the community. Following a week-long trial, Cook was found not guilty. However, the film was charged with being obscene, found guilty and quickly burned.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Box 1 FF 1 Contains chapters 1-5 of the manuscript Erotic Art Society: The Cases for Free Inquiry. An Account of a Controversy. Edited by Dorothy K. Billings, Professor of Anthropology at WSU, dated 1981.
Box 1 FF 2 Contains chapters 6-12 of the manuscript Erotic Art Society: The Cases for Free Inquiry.
Box 1 FF 3 Contains chapters 13-15 of the manuscript Erotic Art Society: The Cases for Free Inquiry.
Box 1 FF 4 Contains chapters 16-Afterword of the manuscript Erotic Art Society: The Cases for Free Inquiry.
Box 1 FF 5 Contains a cassette tape by Dean Kurfman regarding the KLEO radio station report of 2-13-1977 on the bust of the Erotic Art Society's showing of "The Devil in Miss Jones."
Box 1 Vol. I Contains the court proceedings (notebook) between the State of Kansas vs. Neil Cook, President of the Erotic Art Society, Wichita State University, dated April 26-May 2, 1977.
Box 1 Vol. II Contains the court proceedings (notebook) between the State of Kansas vs. Neil Cook, President of the Erotic Art Society, Wichita State University, dated April 26-May 2, 1977.