The conference “Camps, (In)justice, and Solidarity in the Americas” will host speakers from a variety of disciplines to present academic research and reflections on the topics of internment and human rights issues from a multitude of insightful perspectives.
Mansoor Adayfi is a writer, advocate, and former Guantánamo Bay prisoner. He spent nearly fifteen years without charge in U.S. custody, including eight years in solitary confinement. Originally from Yemen, he was released to Serbia in 2016. Since then, he has focused on continuing his education and on writing about his experiences. Adayfi’s writings have been published in The New York Times. These include “In Our Prison on the Sea” and “Taking Marriage Class at Guantánamo Bay.” He is also author of the essay “Did We Survive Torture?,” which is included in the edited volume Witnessing Torture; Perspectives of Torture Survivors and Human Rights Workers (2018). Hachette Books is the publisher of his 2021 memoir, Don’t Forget Us Here .
Moazzam Begg is Outreach Director at CAGE, a London-based advocacy organization that aims to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror. The U.S. held him in Afghanistan and in Guantánamo Bay for almost three years. He was co-author (with Victoria Brittain) of Enemy Combatant: My Imprisonment at Guantánamo, Bagram, and Kandahar (2006). After his release in 2005, Begg emerged as a media commentator and spoke frequently on topics such as detention at Guantánamo Bay, the use of drone strikes for extrajudicial killings, issues pertaining to U.S., U.K., and international anti-terrorism measures. Begg has authored numerous newspaper and magazine articles, publishing in The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and The Independent, among other newspapers. In addition, he was interviewed in Taxi to the Dark Side (2008), a documentary about mistreatment of prisoners held by the U.S. in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Lakhdar Boumediene was born and raised in Algeria, and as an adult he worked for various humanitarian causes. Boumediene was imprisoned at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay from January 2002 to May 15, 2009. Like others, he was detained and interrogated, but not charged. He was also the lead plaintiff in Boumediene v. Bush (2008), a U.S. Supreme Court case that he won. The court determined that Guantánamo detainees and other foreign nationals have the right to file writs of habeas corpus in U.S. federal courts. Boumedieneand Mustafa Ait Idir are the authors of Witnesses of the Unseen: Seven Years in Guantanamo (2017).
Eric Jennings is professor of history at the University of Toronto (Victoria College). His books include Escape from Vichy: The Refugee Exodus to the French Caribbean (Harvard UP, 2018), Perspectives on French Colonial Madagascar (Palgrave, 2017); Free French Africa in World War II (Cambridge UP, 2015), Imperial Heights: Dalat and the Making and Undoing of French Indochina (California, 2011), Curing the Colonizers (Duke, 2006), and Vichy in the Tropics (Stanford, 2001). He co-edited L’Empire colonial sous Vichy (Odile Jacob, 2004) with Jacques Cantier. His books have all been translated into French, and one into Vietnamese.
Jana Lipman is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. Her book, Guantánamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution, 1939-1979 (University California Press, 2009) was the 2009 Co-Winner of the Taft Prize in Labor History. This book tells the history of the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo Bay (GTMO) from the point of view of Cuban base workers. Her second book, In Camps: Vietnamese Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Repatriates, 1975-2005 was published by University of California Press in 2020. Lipman has also published extensively about Cuban, Haitian, and Vietnamese refugees in the late 20th century. Lipman was an adviser to the Guantánamo Public Memory Project. She has written about U.S.-Cuban relations, refugees, and asylum seekers in the Washington Post’s Made by History series, the Times Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, and the Conversation.com. Her commentary has also appeared in numerous media outlets including NPR, the New York Times, and the Christian Science Monitor.
A. Naomi Paik is the author of Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary: Understanding U.S. Immigration for the 21st Century (2020, University of California Press), which examines the criminalization of immigrants in the U.S. She also published her first book, Rightlessness: Testimony and Redress in U.S. Prison Camps since World War II in 2016 (UNC Press), as well as articles, opinion pieces, and interviews in a range of academic and public-facing venues. As a board member of the Radical History Review, she has co-edited three special issues of the journal—on “Militarism and Capitalism (Winter 2019), “Radical Histories of Sanctuary” (Fall 2019), and “Policing, Justice, and the Radical Imagination” (Spring 2020)—and will coedit “Against the Anthropocene” with Ashley Dawson (Winter 2023). Collaborating with Gerry Cadava and Cat Ramirez, she is also coediting the “Borderlands” section of Public Books. She is an associate professor at the University of Illinois.
Dr. Efrén Rivera Ramos is a full professor at the School of Law of the University of Puerto Rico. Dr. Rivera obtained a B.A. in Political Science and a Juris Doctor from the University of Puerto Rico, an LL.M. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from University College London. He is the author of The Legal Construction of Identity: The Judicial and Social Legacy of American Colonialism in Puerto Rico (APA Books, Washington DC, 2001) and of numerous chapters in collective works and articles in professional and academic journals on colonialism, the Insular Cases, self-determination, the political status of Puerto Rico, citizenship, cultural rights, the rights of refugees, democracy and rights, law and violence, equality, access to justice, the rule of law, freedom of information, legal education, and law and silence, among other topics. He was the Director of the Legal Project established by the Inter-Regional Council for Haitian Refugees to defend hundreds of Haitian refugees detained in Fort Allen, Puerto Rico in the 1980´s by the U.S. Immigration Service.
Julia Roth is Professor of American Studies with a focus on Gender Studies and Inter-American Studies at Bielefeld University, Germany. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the research project “The Americas as Space of Entanglements” in Bielefeld and in the interdisciplinary network “desiguALdades.net – Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America” at Freie Universität Berlin, as well as a lecturer at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Universität Potsdam, and Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico. Her research focuses on postcolonial, decolonial and gender approaches, intersectionality and global inequalities, anti-racist feminist knowledge from the Caribbean and the Americas, gender and citizenship, and right-wing populism and gender. In addition to her academic work, she organizes and curates cultural and political events (e.g., the theater festival “Women/Images of the Americas on the Move” in Berlin 2010; 2014 and 2016 BE.BOP – Black Europe Body Politics with Alanna Lockward, “De-Heimatize Belonging” at the Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin).
Barbara Stelzl-Marx is the director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research on Consequences of War (BIK), Graz – Vienna – Raabs, Austria, a Professor for contemporary history at University of Graz, and vice-president of the Austrian UNESCO Commission, Vienna. In 2020 she was awarded „Academic of the Year“. She studied history, Russian and English/American studies in Graz, Oxford, Volgograd and the Stanford University, CA. In 2010 she finished her prize-winning habilitation in contemporary history. She was director of research of the EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network Children Born of War – Past Present Future.
More to be announced in the near future.