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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)February 9, 2009

MAHWAH – Philip Gourevitch, author of “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families” and, most recently, “Standard Operating Procedure,” a collaboration with the filmmaker Errol Morris, will deliver the first annual William K. Gumpert Memorial Lecture in April.  The presentation is free and open to the public.

Gourevitch’s topic will be “Human Rights and Genocide:  The Past Century’s Lessons for Better and for Worse.”  The speaker will reflect on the meaning of the genocide in Rwanda and interviews with U.S. troops about the abuse at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraid prison.

Written after the Rwanda genocide, in “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families,” Gourevitch reflects on the meaning of the tragedy through retelling survivors’ stories.  In “Standard Operating Procedure,” he draws from interviews with the U.S. troops, depicted in the documentary of the same name, involved with prisoner abuse at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison.

Named editor of “The Paris Review” in 2005, Gourevitch also is a staff writer for “The New Yorker.”  He received the 1998 National Book Critics Circle award, the Los Angeles
Times Book Prize, the 1999 Guardian First Book Award and the George K. Polk Award for Foreign Reporting for “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families.”

The lecture will be the first given in memory of William K. Gumpert, a California attorney and longtime Center benefactor who passed away in 2007.  It is supported by a grant by the Gumpert Foundation, established under a bequest before his passing, to foster a series of initiatives in genocide and human rights education.

The event will be sponsored by the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and will be held in conjunction with the Ramapo Lecture Series:  “Diversity Perspectives in 21st Century” and the School of American and International Studies’ Colloquium series.

Human Rights and Genocide:  The Past Century’s Lessons for Better and for Worse” will be presented Wednesday, April 1 in SC-219 in the Robert A. Scott Student Center at Ramapo College. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. For more information or to reserve a seat, please call 201.684.7409.

For media inquiries, contact Anna Farneski, assistant vice president, Marketing and Communications, 201.684.6844.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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