April 7, 2016
Department of English, New York University
244 Greene Street, Room 106
Please RSVP for this event here.
After nearly thirteen years of U.S. wars in the region, the Middle East continues to experience increasing violence and political instability. Yet the news media has placed the domestic costs of war in the foreground, with the deepening turmoil in Iraq and Syria, the global refugee crisis, continued occupation, and the ecological and public health catastrophe caused by war pollution in the background. Despite these conditions, organizers in the region continue to work in support of workers’ justice, gender liberation, anti-imperialism, and global solidarity. This symposium seeks to challenge the national U.S. foreign policy discourse by drawing attention to the human consequences of war, engaging with the moral dilemma it poses for soldiers and citizens, highlighting the agency of members of civil society living in war zones, and raising awareness about the solidarity and reparations efforts in the U.S. This symposium brings together a panel of academics, organizers, and veterans for a community discussion about how we can work together towards a postwar world.
Nadia Abu El-Haj is a Professor of Anthropology at Barnard College. Her forthcoming book, provisionally titled The Ethics of Trauma: Moral Injury, Combat, and U.S. Empire, examines the myriad forms and legacies of violence that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have unleashed, and how it is that so many of their attendant horrors remain hidden in plain sight.
Jose Vasquez is the former Executive Director of Iraq Veterans Against the War. He served fourteen years in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 2007 as a conscientious objector. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Cultural Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center, conducting research on militarization and the politics of veteran status in contemporary American society.
Amnah Almukhtar is a co-founder of the Iraqi Transnational Collective. She is a graduate of Fordham University where she double majored in International Studies with a Middle East concentration and Philosophy, and is completing a Master of Arts degree in Middle Eastern Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is also Administrative and IT Associate at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR).
Kali Rubaii is a PhD student in Social Anthropology and co-founder and Director of the Islah Reparations Project. Kali’s research focuses on the ethics of war and violence and the impact of occupation and counterinsurgency on rural communities in Iraq and Palestine. In 2014 and 2015, she led several trips to bring reparation to refugee camps in Iraq.
Sinan Antoon is an Iraqi poet, an award-winning novelist and translator, and an Associate Professor at New York University. His best known works include The Corpse Washer, I’jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody, and Ya Maryam. He is also a co-founder of the cultural and political e-zine Jadaliyya.
Patrick Deer is an Associate Professor of English at New York University. Patrick has written extensively on the topic of war culture, including his book Culture in Camouflage: War, Empire and Modern British Literature, and he is a co-organizer of the Cultures of War and Post-war research collaborative at NYU. He is working on a book project on contemporary U.S. war culture and war literature, Surge and Silence: Understanding America’s Culture of War.
This event is co-sponsored by the Iraqi Transnational Collective, Iraq Veterans Against the War, the Islah Reparations Project, NYU Cultures of War and Post-war Research Collaborative, and the Center for Constitutional Rights.