We will make use of readings, films, TV programs, links to other web-sites, and occasional guest lectures (some of which take place outside class time and are therefore optional).
Readings will be provided for a number of cases; e.g., those listed in the syllabus. Students are also encouraged to look at other cases and bring their own readings to class.
On the primary question of what makes a political prisoner, Geoffrey Bindman wrote a noteworthy article in 1990.
Of course, political prisoners have figured in the mass media numerous times, as indicated by this survey of items published over the last twenty-five years.
Readings week-by-week (other assignments listed separately):
Guest Lectures & Presentations
We will have several opportunities to meet Dr. Moncef Marzouki, a Tunisian physician and former political prisoner who has left his country because he and his family were subjected to harassment, threats, and persecution.
We will also have a presentation by Dr. Walter Kato, a Japanese-American who, as a teenager, was sent to an internment camp in Idaho during WWII (and was subsequently not allowed to enrol as an undergraduate at MIT).
Other political prisoners speaking will include (1) Malika Oufkir, the adopted daughter of a former King of Morocco; and (2) Cemile Cakir (Turkish dissident) & Orhan Zorluoglu (Kurdish activist).
Holly Sweet, staff director of the ESG program at MIT, has agreed to speak to the seminar about the case of Lori Berenson (an ESG alumna).
In addition, Professor Noam Chomsky has provided a copy of the indictment handed down in November against his publisher in Turkey. We will follow the case as it develops over the course of the semester.
Another potential guest speaker is Professor Martha Minow (Harvard Law School), who studies violence and "alternative dispute resolution" mechanisms (e.g., truth commissions, tribunals, reparations), and might help students compare the way political prisoners are treated by their respective "host" governments.
Last modified on Friday, May 24, 2002 at 3:41:45 PM EDT