Yet rightless people are not silent. Drawing from an expansive testimonial archive of legal proceedings, truth commission records, poetry, and experimental video, Paik shows how rightless people use their imprisonment to protest U.S. state violence. She examines demands for redress by Japanese Americans interned during World War II, testimonies of HIV-positive Haitian refugees detained at Guantanamo in the early 1990s, and appeals by Guantanamo's enemy combatants from the War on Terror. In doing so, she reveals a powerful ongoing contest over the nature and meaning of the law, over civil liberties and global human rights, and over the power of the state in people's lives.
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A. Naomi Paik's meticulous book opens new interpretative approaches to fundamental problems of U.S. sovereignty and democracy. A challenging historical survey of the relationship between normal styles of government and states of emergency has been artfully combined with a bold defense of the value of rights in the struggles of the excluded, racialized, and incarcerated.Paul Gilroy, Professor of American and English Literature, King's College London
This original and convincing book shows how the United States relies on prison camps in an era of both rights assertion and global dominance. A. Naomi Paik persuasively explains why these camps were created, why they persist, and why we must listen to those who are detained.Leti Volpp, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
In her innovative and scrupulously researched book, A. Naomi Paik recovers the profound testimonies of human subjects made rightless in the context of American liberalism. Engrossing and powerful, this beautifully crafted book makes a rigorous, erudite, and lucid argument.Alex Lubin, University of New Mexico