Dr. A. Naomi Paik

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Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies

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Biography

A. Naomi Paik is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work examines the relationship between law and cultural politics, centering racism, state violence, and the limits of citizenship to secure rights and social equity. Her book, Rightlessness: Testimony and Redress in U.S. Prison Campssince World War II (UNC Press, 2016; winner, Best Book in History, AAAS 2018; runner-up, John Hope Franklin prize for best book in American Studies, ASA, 2017), reads testimonial narratives of subjects rendered rightless by the U.S. state through their imprisonment in camps. 

Paik is currently writing a short book entitled Walls, Bans, Raids, Sanctuary (under contract with the University of California Press), which focuses on the criminalization of migrants to the United States and the need for radical, abolitionist approaches to sanctuary. Her following project centers on military outsourcing, labor regimes, and neoliberal governance. She is co-editing three special issues of Radical History Review—on militarism and capitalism (with Simeon Man and Melina Pappademos), on radical histories of sanctuary (with Jason Ruiz and Rebecca Schrieber), and on policing, justice, and the radical imaginary (with Amy Chazkel and Monica Kim). 

Paik has published articles in Social TextRadical History ReviewCulturalDynamics, Race & Class,  and the collection Guantánamo and American Empire and has forthcoming articles in Humanity and e-misferica.

She is an assistant professor Asian American studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on topics including im/migration, U.S. imperialism, comparative ethnic studies, carceral spaces, and racial violence. 

Follow me:

www.naomipaik.com

https://www.facebook.com/rightlessness/

https://illinois.academia.edu/ANaomiPaik

Education

  • Yale University, Ph.D., American Studies (Certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)
  • Yale University, M.Phil, American Studies
  • Yale University, M.A., American Studies
  • Columbia University, B.A., Women’s and Gender Studies and Asian American Studies

Distinctions / Awards

  • Winner, Best Book in History Award, Association for Asian American Studies, 2018, for Rightlessness
  • Runner up/Finalist, John Hope Franklin Prize for Best Book in American Studies, American Studies Association, 2017, for Rightlessness
  • Warfield Center for African and African Diaspora Studies Summer Research Fellowship, The University of Texas at Austin, Summer 2013
  • Early Career Postdoctoral Fellowship, Humanities Center, University of Pittsburgh 2012-2013
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, The Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Emory University (declined)
  • Warfield Center for African and African Diaspora Studies Summer Research Fellowship, The University of Texas at Austin, Summer 2012 (declined)
  • Summer Research Assignment, The University of Texas at Austin 2011-2012
  • Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in Asian American Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 2009-2010

Grants

  • Faculty Fellowship, 2016-2017, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Humanities Release Time, 2015, Campus Research Board, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Early Career Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2012-2013, Humanities Center, University of Pittsburgh
  • Faculty Development Program Grant, Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, The University of Texas at Austin 2011-2012
  • Signature Course Grant, Embrey Foundation for Women’s Human Rights Initiative, Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, The University of Texas at Austin. (For development and instruction of first-year undergraduate course, Gender, Migration, and Rights.) 2011-2012
  • New Americanist Working Group (member), Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts Grant, University of Notre Dame 2010-2011

Courses

  • Introduction to Asian American Studies
  • Prisons, Race, and Terror
  • Immigration, Law, and Rights
  • Women Immigrant Labor
  • Race, Memory, Violence

LLS Titles & Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies

Publications

Books

  • Paik, A. N. “Walls, Bans, Raids, Sanctuary: Understanding Immigration in the 21st Century.” In progress. . University of North Carolina Press, 2019.
  • Paik, A. N. "Outsourcing U.S. Security: Legal Ambiguities, Diminished Democracy." In progress. . 2019.
  • Rightlessness: Testimony and Redress in U.S. Prison Camps since World War II. . University of North Carolina Press, 2016.

Book Contributions


  • Paik, A. N. ""Between Storytelling and Truth-Telling: Testimonial Narratives of Guantánamo."." Guantánamo and American Empire: The Humanities Respond. . Ed. Don E. Wallicek and Jessica Adams. New York: Palgrave-McMillan, 2018. 121-148.

Journal Articles

  • Paik, A. N. "Representing the Disappeared Body: Hunger Strikes at Guantánamo (forthcoming)." Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 9.3 (2018):
  • Paik, A. N. "Abolitionist Futures and the U.S. Sanctuary Movement." Race & Class 59.2 (2017): 3-25.
  • Paik, A. N. "Education and Empire, Old and New: H.R. 3077 and the Resurgence of the U.S. Imperial University." Cultural Dynamics 25.1 (2013): 3-28.
  • Paik, A. N. "Carceral Quarantine at Guantánamo: Legacies of U.S. Imprisonment of Haitian Refugees, 1991-1994." Radical History Review 115.1 (2013): 142-168.
  • Paik, A. N. "Education and Empire, Old and New: H.R. 3077 and the Resurgence of the U.S. Imperial University." Cultural Dynamics 25.1 (2013): 3-28.
  • Paik, A. N. "Testifying to Rightlessness: Haitian Refugees Speaking from Guantánamo." Social Text 28.3 (2010): 39-65.

Special Issues of a Journal

  • Policing, Justice, and the Radical Imagination. Spec. iss. of Radical History Review (2020):
  • Militarism and Capitalism. Spec. iss. of Radical History Review (2019):
  • Radical Histories of Sanctuary. Spec. iss. of Radical History Review (2019):
  • Paik, A. N. "Between Rights and Rightlessness: Haitian Migrants and the Elusive Promises of Humanitarianism (forthcoming)." Expulsions/Expulsión/Expulsão. Spec. iss. of e-misferica 13.2 (2018):

Newspaper Articles

Magazine Articles

  • Paik, A. N. "Guantánamo Bay: A Palimpsest of Carceral Violence." The Funambulist Magazine. 3 Jan. 2016: 34-40.