Michael Ratner '66 and Marc Falkoff '97, who both represented Guantanamo detainees, headline Feb. 2 and 3 events

Michael Ratner '66

Two Brandeis University alumni who have been leaders in court challenges to the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp will speak on campus Feb. 2 and 3 as part of a conference on ``Art and Human Rights from Slavery to Guantanamo.’’

The conference is sponsored by the Masters Program in Cultural Production and the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.

Michael Ratner ‘66, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, will deliver the keynote address on the subject "Beyond the Shadows of Guantanamo: Restoring the Rule of Law in a Post-Bush World." His talk will be at 7 p.m. Monday in the Zinner Forum of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

Ratner was a member of the small group of lawyers that first took on representation of the Guantánamo detainees in January 2001. That case went to the United States Supreme Court where a major victory was won in June 2004. President Obama has ordered that the camp be closed within a year.

An adjunct professor of law at Columbia University, a past president of the National Lawyers Guild, and the 2006 recipient of the Brandeis Alumni Achievement Award, Ratner will also speak in downtown Boston on Tuesday morning as part of the university’s Spotlight Forum series at the Old State House.

In a related on campus event Tuesday, Marc Falkoff PhD ‘97, who has been a principal lawyer for more than a dozen prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay on suspicion of involvement with terrorism, will speak on human rights and literature. That presentation will be in Usdan International lounge at 3:10 p.m. – part of a full afternoon of discussion of art and human rights that begins at 12:10 p.m.

The conference opens at 4 p.m. on Monday with a roundtable discussion on "Memorializing Guantanamo" featuring Julian Bonder, an architect who concentrates on relationships between trauma, memory and public space; Janet Echelman, an artist who specializes in public installation and sculptures; and Ratner. That session, which will be held in the Feldberg Lounge of Hassenfeld Conference Center, will be moderated by Mark Auslander, who is assistant professor of anthropology at Brandeis and director of the cultural production program.

The two Ratner talks and all conference sessions are free and open to the public. Reservations are required for the downtown Boston forum.

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