Conference on War and Imprisonment, May 11, 2018

Conference Program

International Conference on War and Imprisonment

CUNY Graduate Center

New York, New York

Friday, May 11, 2018


Welcome: 8:00-8:15

Dr. Sarah Danielsson   

Associate Professor, Department of History, Queensborough Community College / CUNY

Dr. Clarence Jefferson Hall Jr.   

Assistant Professor, Department of History, Queensborough Community College / CUNY


Panel I: Places, Spaces, and Wartime Imprisonment: 8:15-9:45

Moderator: Dr. Mark D. Van Ells   

Professor, Department of History, Queensborough Community       College / CUNY

Olof Blomqvist         
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Captives and Community: Prisoners of War in Torgau and Uppsala during the Great Northern War, 1700-1721


Anne Lessy   

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

‘Prison Labor for Defense’: Unfree Labor in the New Deal Warfare State


Dr. Sharon Delmendo

Professor, Department of English, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York

The ‘Manilaners’: From Nazi Victims to Unexpected Participants in the Pacific Theater


Dr. Franziska Seraphim

Associate Professor, Department of History, Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts

Sugamo and Landsberg: Allied Prisons for Axis War Criminals after World War II


Dr. Richard Nisa   

Assistant Professor of Geography, Department of Social Science & History, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Florham, New Jersey

Take No Prisoners: Disappearance and the Twenty-First Century American War Prison


Break: 9:45-10:00


Panel II: Texts of Wartime Imprisonment: 10:00-11:30

Moderator: Dr. Frank Jacob   

Professor of History, Department of Social Science, Nord University, Bodo, Norway

Stefan Lueder   

Ph.D. Candidate, Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany

Exploring the ‘Gurkha Records’: Himalayan Prisoners of War in World War I Germany




Dr. Anne Schwan   

Associate Professor, Department of English, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland

German Internees Writing the First World War: Identities, Irony, and Humour in the Camp Newspaper Stobsiade

Tessa Hite  

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

Promoting Surrender: Photographs of German POWs in American Propaganda Leaflets during World War II

Dr. Jeehyun Lim

Assistant Professor, Department of English, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York

Carl Mydans’s Photographs of Tule Lake

Dr. R. Shareah Taleghani

Assistant Professor and Director of Middle East Studies, Queens College / CUNY, Flushing, New York

Visibility, Counter-Surveillance, and Surrealism in Tadmur Military Prison

Lunch: 11:30-12:30

Keynote Address: 12:30-1:30

Dr. Victoria Sanford
Visiting Scholar, Institute for the Study of Human Rights

School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Director, Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies
Doctoral Faculty
CUNY Graduate Center, New York, New York
Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology
Lehman College / CUNY, Bronx, New York

Paper Title: The Disappeared of Guatemala


Break: 1:30-1:45


Panel III: Politics and Imprisonment: 1:45-3:15

Moderator: Dr. Ron Van Cleef   

Substitute Assistant Professor, Department of History, Queensborough Community College / CUNY

Dr. Zohar Segev

Professor, Department of Jewish History, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

Prisoner of War and Civilian Prisoner: The International Red Cross and the Jews during the Holocaust


Dr. Shirley Jennifer Lim   

Associate Professor, Department of History, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York

Art for the People


James Okolie Osemene

Lecturer, Department of International Relations, Wellspring University, Benin City, Nigeria

Wartime Civilian Prisoners: Patterns and Evolution of Human Rights Violations in the Nigeria-Biafra War



Samuel Severson

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Maseru Central Prison in the 1960s and 70s: The Political and Cultural Legacies of Repression


Rallie Murray

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology and Social Change, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, California

Are All Prisons Political?


Panel IV: Prisoners of War: 3:30-4:30


Moderator: Dr. Tim Keogh

Assistant Professor, Department of History, Queensborough Community College / CUNY


Leonard Dorn   

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Early Modern History, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Chivalry and Fear: The Treatment of Prisoners of War in the Electorate of Hanover during the Seven Years’ War, 1756-1763

Daniel Farrell   

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

Highway Robbers or Prisoners of War? Sovereign Power, Bare Life, and the Problem of Confederate Guerrillas during the American Civil War


Dr. Lu Sun

Assistant Professor, Department of History, Bryant University-Zhuhai, People’s Republic of China

India, Taiwan, and ‘The Last Battle of the Korean War’: The Controversy Surrounding POW Explanations


Panel V: Negotiating Difference and Imprisonment: 4:30-6:00


Moderator: Dr. Jonathan Anzalone

Assistant Director, School of Journalism, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York


Matyas Mervay

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, New York University, New York, New York

The Forgotten Soldiers of Francis Joseph: Austro-Hungarian Refugee Prisoners of War in China


Christina Matzen

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Politics, Sexuality, and Carceral Life: Disciplining Women in Nazi Penal Institutions


Vic Overdorf

Ph.D. Student, Department of Gender Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Imprisoning Sexuality: The Abuses of the State in Homosexual Male Incarceration at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, 1934-1957


Dr. Shahla Talebi

Associate Professor of Religious Studies, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

The Predicament of the Human / Political / Sexual: Stories from the Iranian Political Prison


Call for Papers

The capture and confinement of human beings has been—and remains—a central feature of warfare and periods of mass violence both within and between nation-states and among non-state actors.  Prisoners apprehended and held during times of conflict—whether military or political—have been both blessing and curse to their keepers.  While often valued as cheap labor and lucrative bargaining chips, the high costs—economic, social, political, and environmental—associated with mass imprisonment continue to challenge even the best organized bureaucratic states.  This conference seeks to explore these historical and contemporary dynamics across geographic time and space.  We welcome interdisciplinary scholarship on topics including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Prisoner of war camps
  • Prison towns
  • Civilian prisoners in wartime
  • Political imprisonment
  • Prison culture
  • Prison violence
  • Treatment of prisoners
  • Prison labor in wartime
  • Race, class, gender, and prison in wartime
  • Prison architecture and design
  • Environmental impacts of mass imprisonment

The one-day conference—the fifth annual of an ongoing series—will be held at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, located at 365 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, on Friday, May 11, 2018.  We envision a program free of geographical, chronological, or methodological restraints.  Individual paper proposals of no more than 300 words and a short CV should be sent to Clarence (Jeff) Hall ( and Sarah Danielsson ( no later than December 15, 2017.  Accepted presenters will be notified in early 2018.  Interested presenters may also be considered for publication in an anthology tentatively scheduled for 2019.

Campus Cultural Centers

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Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

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QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

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QCC Art Gallery

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.