Human Rights At Queens:
The Memorial Lectures Project
The Queens College Website is exhibiting
student designed posters from Human Rights at Queens:The Memorial Lectures
With its diverse population (students from over 100 countries speaking over
60 languages), and proximity to international organizations based in New
York, Queens College is uniquely positioned to create an interdisciplinary
professional program in Human Rights.
The Human Rights / Memorial Lectures Project was the first step in
creating this program. Organized by Profs. Ammiel Alcalay and Eleanor
Magid, two public events were dedicated to victims of aggression, one
in Bosnia and the other in Africa.
The Karim Zaimovic Memorial Lecture was dedicated to a 25 year old writer and journalist killed
in Sarajevo and featured the Bosnian journalist Zlatko Dizdarevic; The
Ken Saro-Wiwa Memorial Lecture was dedicated to the executed Nigerian
writer and environmentalist, and featured Kakuna Kerina, Africa Coordinator
for the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Prof. Ammiel Alcalay presented information on Zaimovic and Saro-Wiwa
to an Art Department class whose semester long project was to create posters
for the Memorial Lectures. Working with Prof. Eleanor Magid
of the Art Department, the art students researched the particular issues
and political situation of the countries involved.
Faculty and guests came to speak about the victims.
Students worked nights and weekends as they began to see the effect their
work was going to have on other people. In the case of Zaimovic, a close
friend of his came to speak to the students and later took a set of posters
to Zaimovic's parents in Sarajevo.
The events were made part of the curriculum in related classes through background
lectures and distribution of materials. The posters were displayed throughout
the campus and a separate exhibit was held. The posters are now on permanent
display in one of the college's dining halls, attesting to the great success
of the the initial phase of the project.
Human Rights at Queens College: The Memorial Lectures Project created
a global community within the classroom and on campus, bringing together
diverse people through common concerns. We plan to continue this work in
the hopes of creating a full-fledged, interdisciplinary academic program
in Human Rights.
For more information, contact:
Prof. Ammiel Alcalay / Classical, Middle Eastern & Asian Languages
65-30 Kissena Blvd
Flushing, NY 11367
tel: (718) 997-5570