a.naomi.paik [at] gmail.com

Department of Asian American Studies

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

1208 W. Nevada Street, MC 142

Urbana, IL 61801

@2016 by A. Naomi Paik

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A. Naomi 





A. Naomi Paik is an assistant professor of Asian American studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her book, Rightlessness: Testimony and Redress in U.S. Prison Camps since 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. She has published articles in Social Text, Radical History Review, Cultural Dynamics, Race & Class, Humanity, and e-misferica, as well as the collection Guantánamo and American Empire. She is currently writing Walls, Bans, Raids, Sanctuary (under contract with University of California Press), a short book on the criminalization of migrants in the U.S. and radical sanctuary movements. She is also developing a new project on military outsourcing. As a board member of the Radical History Review, she is co-editing three special issues of the journal—on “Militarism and Capitalism (Winter 2019), “Radical Histories of Sanctuary” (Fall 2019), and “Policing, Justice, and the Radical Imagination” (Spring 2020). Her research and teaching interests include comparative ethnic studies; U.S. imperialism; U.S. militarism; social and cultural approaches to legal studies; transnational and women of color feminisms; carceral spaces; and labor, race, and migration.





UT Austin
Center for
Asian American



New York University
Universities as

"A. Naomi Paik's meticulous book opens new interpretative approaches to fundamental problems of U.S. sovereignty and democracy.  A challenging historical survey of the relationship between normal styles of government and states of emergency has been artfully combined with a bold defense of the value of rights in the struggles of the excluded, racialized, and incarcerated."

--Paul Gilroy, Professor of American and English Literature, King's College London

Winner, Best Book in History, 2018, Association for Asian American Studies


Finalist/Runner Up, John Hope Franklin Award for Best Book in American Studies, 2017, American Studies Association

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