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Michelle C. Velazquez-Potts – Force-Feeding and the Suspended Animation of Torture

April 27, 2022 @ 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm  |  Virtual and In Person


Since 2002, prisoners at Guantánamo Bay detention camp have been force-fed as punishment for hunger striking, prompting the question of how to understand the feeding tube’s various uses as both a form of medical treatment and torture instrument. By placing force-feeding practices at Guantánamo Bay within a larger history of medicalized punishment, this talk tracks how the functions of the feeding tube are altered and reimagined by the US military. The talk also explores end-of-life politics at Guantánamo Bay by investigating the recent possibility of palliative care for aging prisoners at the camps. I consider how the military’s plans for hospice is made possible by humanitarian logics of war that continue to centralize care in similar ways to that of force-feeding. Please note: this event will be fully remote, with attendance only via Zoom.


The Center for Cultural Studies hosts a weekly Wednesday colloquium featuring work by faculty and visitors. We gather at 12:00 PM, with presentations beginning at 12:15 PM.

For Spring 2022, the colloquium will take a hybrid format, with the option of in-person or virtual attendance. Attendees have the option to attend in person in Humanities 210 or to watch the presentation on zoom. To attend remotely via zoom, please RSVP in advance, and you will receive a zoom link on the morning of the colloquium. In most cases, speakers will appear remotely so that they will not have to present wearing a mask. To RSVP for the full Spring colloquium series, please use this form. If you have any questions about the colloquium, please contact Piper Milton (

Staff assistance is provided by The Humanities Institute.


April 27, 2022
12:15 pm - 1:30 pm