News and Events: Archive:

“Curating Guantánamo” exhibition, opens Feb. 18th at Douglass Library;
Public events on March 28th and 29th

“Guantánamo” has become an international symbol of the United States' War on Terror and a lightning rod for debates about torture, detention, national security, and human rights. But the US naval station at Guantánamo Bay - also known by its military acronym “GTMO” or its nickname, “Gitmo” - was part of American politics and policy for a century before 9-11. And it has been “closed” several times, only to be put to new use. How was GTMO used before? How does that shape what could -- and should -- happen next?

From 2011-12, students at 11 universities around the country asked: what can GTMO's history tell us about what's happening now - there, and here at home? They dug through historical archives; talked to people who worked there, lived there, were detained there, or advocated for those who were; and explored how GTMO relates to issues, people, and places in their own community.

Their work is now part of a national, traveling exhibition, which the students collectively curated - including students in Rutgers' Professor Andy Urban's Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies program course on Guantánamo in spring 2012. The exhibit opens in the Douglass Library Atrium on February 18 and will close on March 29.

The Libraries are pleased to cosponsor two public events connected to the exhibition:

Poetic Justice: The Shades of Guantánamo
Thursday, March 28, 2013, 7PM - 9PM
Mabel Smith Douglass Reading Room, Douglass Library
A performance incorporating images, voices, and words from Guantánamo.

Friday, March 29, 2013, 9AM - 5PM
Alexander Library Teleconference/Lecture Hall, 4th Floor

Confirmed speakers for the conference include:

Sponsors of the exhibition and public events are: Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs, Critical Caribbean Studies Initiative, Department of American Studies, Department of Art History - Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies Program, Department of History, Office for Academic and Public Partnerships in the Arts and Humanities, Office of the Dean of Humanities, Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Rutgers University Libraries, and Transnational New Jersey.

Educational tours of the exhibit and guided dialogues about its content are available to Rutgers' courses (as well as to other area high school and college classes) interested in the topics that the exhibit will cover: Caribbean history; US military and economic involvement in the Caribbean; the War of 1898; US immigration and refugee policies; post-9/11 politics of "security"; detention; the legal history of sovereign power; and others.

If you are teaching a course and are interested in visiting the exhibit, please email Andy Urban at to schedule a guided tour.

For more information on the two public events, visit the Department of American Studies website and click on the link "Curating Guantánamo.'

For more information on the exhibition, contact Kayo Denda at the Douglass Library at

Posted February 15, 2013