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Elizabeth Engelhardt, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

“Just to Stay Alive”: HIV Positive Haitian Refugees and Living Death at Guantánamo

Tue, November 29, 2011 • 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM • Gebauer Bldg. 4th Floor Conference Room (GEB 4.214)

-a talk by Naomi Paik

As part of the CWGS New Faculty Development Program, Assistant Professor Naomi Paik will give her talk on “Just to Stay Alive”: HIV Positive Haitian Refugees and Living Death at Guantánamo

This talk is a legal and cultural analysis of Haitian Centers Council v. Sale, a federal lawsuit brought against the U.S. state on behalf of nearly 300 HIV positive Haitian refugees imprisoned in a U.S.-operated refugee camp at Guantánamo Bay from 1991-1994. While situating this camp in histories of U.S. imperialism in the Caribbean, racial discourses linking Haitians and AIDS, and U.S. exclusion of Haitian refugees, it centers its analysis on a cultural reading of the legal archive of refugee testimonies. By reading these forms of evidence—like affidavits, depositions, and personal letters—as both story-telling and truth-telling, I examine how the refugees grappled with their rightless condition, enduring a minimal existence in a camp between life and death.


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