The activist who edited the book is also going to speak at the school.

The Vassar Hub reported.

Guantánamo Diary Editor to Deliver Starr Lecture

This year’s freshman common reading, Guantánamo Diary, is Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s harrowing account of his imprisonment and torture in the infamous jail where he remains, despite having never been formally charged. Writer and activist Larry Siems edited Guantánamo Diary, and will deliver this year’s William Starr Lecture, which is traditionally given by the author of the common reading selection.

The talk, “Finding Mohamedou, Finding Ourselves: Uncensoring the Guantánamo Diary,” will be held on Thursday, September 24 at 5:30 pm in the Villard Room of Main Building.

Siems, whose career has balanced writing and activism, has served as the director of Freedom to Write Programs for PEN America, the U.S. branch of the world’s leading international literary and human rights organization. He is also the author of The Torture Report: What the Documents Say About America’s Post-9/11 Torture Program (2012) and editor of Between the Lines: Letters Between Undocumented Mexican and Central American Immigrants and Their Families and Friends (1995).

Siems calls Slahi’s first-person account of the brutal interrogations inflicted upon Slahi by his U.S. captors “extremely humane.”

“It’s a dehumanized, dehumanizing world that Slahi lives in, but he stubbornly holds to his own humanity and insists on observing and recognizing and preserving the humanity of all those he’s dealing with, too,” Siems says. “And so, as a result of that, the book isn’t completely a journey to the heart of darkness at all. There’s a lot of light and redemptive moments in it.”