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May 3, 2013

Guantanamo Public History Project

In Fall 2012, the University of Minnesota participated in an innovative public history project: The Guantánamo Public Memory Project Travelling Exhibit and National Dialogue (GPMP), which originated at the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience and was housed at the project hub at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights.

The GPMP brought together eleven universities to produce the physical and digital content for a traveling exhibit on the long history of the US naval station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. At Minnesota, Professors Jeani O'Brien and Kevin Murphy team-taught a course with twenty-eight students who produced an exhibit panel that addressed the questions "Can we close Guantánamo?" and "What are visions for Guantánamo's future?" as well as three innovative digital projects http://gtmoproject.umn.edu/.

In Fall 2013, Professor Kevin Murphy will offer a graduate course (HIST 5960 section 090/HIST 8960 section 090) linked to the project. Students will develop collaborative public projects that will be presented as part of The Guantánamo Public Memory Project Travelling Exhibit when it is installed at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul in February 2014. These projects will either address the history of the U.S. Naval Station at Guantánamo or explore Minnesota connections to Guantánamo, broadly defined, including the meanings and impacts of post-9/11 security and anti-terrorism policies in Minnesota as well as the connections between US immigration and citizenship policies and local refugee communities. Professor Murphy will work with students to identify collaborative partners as well as technological resources and expertise.

In this video from the Institute for Advanced Study, GPMP Director Liz Sevcenko discusses the project and the impressive contributions made by the U of M undergraduate participants in Fall 2012 semester of HIST 3001/AMST 3003.

This video features an Access Minnesota interview with Professors O'Brien and Murphy about the project: