Man or Monster?: The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer by Alexander Laban HintonDuring the Khmer Rouge's brutal reign in Cambodia during the mid-to-late 1970s, a former math teacher named Duch served as the commandant of the S-21 security center, where as many as 20,000 victims were interrogated, tortured, and executed. In 2009 Duch stood trial for these crimes against humanity. While the prosecution painted Duch as evil, his defense lawyers claimed he simply followed orders. In Man or Monster? Alexander Hinton uses creative ethnographic writing, extensive fieldwork, hundreds of interviews, and his experience attending Duch's trial to create a nuanced analysis of Duch, the tribunal, the Khmer Rouge, and the after-effects of Cambodia's genocide. Interested in how a person becomes a torturer and executioner as well as the law's ability to grapple with crimes against humanity, Hinton adapts Hannah Arendt's notion of the "banality of evil" to consider how the potential for violence is embedded in the everyday ways people articulate meaning and comprehend the world. Man or Monster? provides novel ways to consider justice, terror, genocide, memory, truth, and humanity.
Publication Date: 2016-11-08
Cambodian American Community of Oregon Oral History Project"The OH Project" interviews were conducted in Portland, Oregon in the spring of 2009. The project was developed by the Cambodian American Community of Oregon, a non-profit organization that provides cultural activities and social support to families and children. Its purposes were to conduct intergenerational interviews between youth and elders in order to pass heritage from the migrating generation to youth born in the United States, and to use storytelling to help narrators heal from wartime trauma.
Participants attended oral history workshops at Portland State University in order to prepare for the interviews. This sample of five video clips is drawn from the larger archive of seventeen interviews. These clips and the headnote are designed to orient readers and researchers to the collection. Selected transcripts and videos of the interviews are available at PSU Library Special Collections. In addition, a documentary film, "The OH Project: Healing from the Cambodian Genocide," was made by Spin Film. A trailer for the film is available online.
The oral history project was made possible with grants from the Northwest Health Foundation and City of Portland's Vision Into Action and the support of Professor Christina Bethell of Oregon Health & Science University. Spin Film generously donated equipment and expertise.
Pol Pot: Facts & SummaryPol Pot (1925-1998) and his communist Khmer Rouge movement led Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. During that time, about 1.5 million Cambodians out of a total population of 7 to 8 million died of starvation, execution, disease or overwork. Some estimates place the death toll even higher. One detention center, S-21, was so notorious that only seven of the roughly 20,000 people imprisoned there are known to have survived. The Khmer Rouge, in their attempt to socially engineer a classless peasant society, took particular aim at intellectuals, city residents, ethnic Vietnamese, civil servants and religious leaders. An invading Vietnamese army deposed the Khmer Rouge in 1979, and, despite years of guerilla warfare, they never took power again. Pol Pot died in 1998 without ever being brought to justice.
The Digital Archive of Cambodia Holocaust SurvivorsThese one hundred haunting photographs of helpless Cambodians facing death were token in a secret prison in Phnom Penh, between the middle of 1975 and the first few days of 1979. Several of the prisoners have just hod their blindfolds removed. As they stare at their captors, they have no idea where they are, who is taking the pictures or what will happen to them.
None of them was ever released. After torture and interrogation, sometimes stretching over several months, all of these men, women and children were brutally put to death.
World Beats by Jimmy FazzinoThis fascinating book explores Beat Generation writing from a transnational perspective, using the concept of worlding to place Beat literature in conversation with a far-reaching network of cultural and political formations. Countering the charge that the Beats abroad were at best naive tourists seeking exoticism for exoticism's sake, World Beats finds that these writers propelled a highly politicized agenda that sought to use the tools of the earlier avant-garde to undermine Cold War and postcolonial ideologies and offer a new vision of engaged literature. With fresh interpretations of central Beat authors Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs-as well as usually marginalized writers like Philip Lamantia, Ted Joans, and Brion Gysin-World Beats moves beyond national, continental, or hemispheric frames to show that embedded within Beat writing is an essential universality that brought America to the world and the world to American literature. This book presents an original treatment that will attract a broad spectrum of scholars.