Why Remember Guantánamo?: GTMO before 9-11, What Now, and What’s Next

General Programming

  • Institute for Latin American Studies, Columbia
  • Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia
  • Columbia University Seminar on History, Redress, and Reconciliation, CU
  • Columbia University Seminar on History, Redress, and Reconciliation, CU
  • Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, NYU
  • Humanities Institute, NYU
  • Master's College, NYU
  • Graduate School of Arts and Science, NYU
  • Registration required. See details.
  • Free and open to the public


For more information, including schedule and speakers, please visit the full conference website.

“Why Remember Guantánamo?” will bring together an international group of diverse scholars and stakeholders to launch the Guantánamo Public Memory Project’s traveling exhibit. The project explores the long history and contested memory of the US Naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba from 1898 to the present through a traveling exhibition, web platform; mobile engagement strategy; archive; and curriculum.

The Project is a collaboration of 11 different universities across the country, through courses offered simultaneously in the Fall of 2012 for MA students in Latin American Studies, Public History, and Museum Studies. The exhibit, developed by students from each participating university, will open in NYU’s Kimmel Windows December 13, 2012 before traveling to 9 other sites across the country. The conference will bring together leading scholars and stakeholders in GTMO’s past and future to explore the century-long history of Guantánamo before 9-11 and its implications for what came after, raising critical questions around citizenship, immigration, public health, national security, and the nature of democracy.

Featuring multimedia explorations of the dramatic scenes and stories from GTMO’s varied past developed by student teams in diverse parts of the country, together with their reflections on the varying meanings GTMO has for each local community, the conference will facilitate a national public dialogue from multiple perspectives on what GTMO’s history suggests for the future of this place, its people, and its policies. The conference, to be held December 13-14, will be a partnership between NYU and Columbia University, with events at Columbia on the 13th and at NYU on the evening of the 13th and the 14th.