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Jana K. Lipman Associate Professor Department of History Tulane University

Jana K. Lipman

Associate Professor
Hebert 113


Jana Lipman is a specialist in the 20th-century U.S., especially foreign relations, social and political history, Cuba and Vietnam. 

Research Interests

I am interested in US foreign relations broadly construed. My work on the US naval base in Guantánamo Bay (GTMO) demonstrated how neocolonialism, empire, and revolution functioned in working people's lives. Through extensive field and archival research in Havana, Santiago de Cuba, and Guantánamo, Cuba, I analyzed how Cuban base employees navigated the politics and contradictions of living in Cuba and working for the US military.

My current book project examines the history of Vietnamese refugee camps in Guam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. My research interests include the fields of refugee studies, human rights, and US military bases in the second half of the twentieth century.

Teaching Interests

I teach a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses in U.S. foreign relations, immigration, and 20th century political history.  Specialized classes include seminars on the U.S. War in Vietnam, U.S. Public History, and Labor and Migration.  I have also taught numerous service learning classes and mentored student internships.  At the graduate level, I mentor students in 20th century U.S. history, U.S. Empire, U.S.-Latin American relations, and Labor History.

Selected Publications

Books, Translations, and Edited Collections

In Camps: Vietnamese Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Repatriates (Oakland: University of California Press, forthcoming 2020). 


The Ship of Fate: The Memoir of a Vietnamese Repatriate By Tran Dinh Tru. Co-Translator with Bac Hoai Tran. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2017.

• Author, “Introduction,” The Ship of Fate.

The Ship of Fate


American Quarterly: Tours of Duty/Tours of Leisure: The Politics and Cultures of Militarism and Tourism. Co-Edited Special Issue with Vernadette Vicuna Gonzalez (University of Hawai’i) and Teresia Teaiwa, (Victoria University of Wellington), Fall 2016.

• Co-Author of “Introduction: Tours of Duty, Tours of Leisure” with Vernadette Vicuna Gonzalez

American Quarterly


Making the Empire Work: Labor and United States Imperialism. Co-editor with Daniel Bender (University of Toronto), New York: NYU Press, 2015.

• Co-author of introduction with Daniel E. Bender, “Through the Looking Glass: U.S. Empire Through the Lens of Labor History”

Making the Empire Work


Guantánamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2009.


Journal Articles and Book Chapters

“War, Persecution, and Displacement: U.S. Refugee Policy Since 1945,”At War: Militarism and U.S. Culture in the 20th Century and Beyond, eds. David Kieran and Edwin A. Martini, Rutgers University Press, 2018.

“Where is Guantánamo in Granma? Competing Discourses on Detention and Terrorism” Guantánamo and the Empire of Freedom: Politics and the Humanities at a Global Crossroads, eds., Don Walicek and Jessica Adams, Palgrave McMillan Press, 2018.

“ ‘A Precedent Worth Setting…’: Military Humanitarianism: The U.S. Military and the 1975 Vietnamese Evacuation,” Journal of Military History, January 2015.

“A Refugee Camp in America: Fort Chaffee and Vietnamese and Cuban Refugees, 1975-1982,” Journal of American Ethnic History, Winter 2014.

“ ‘The Fish Trusts the Water, and It is in the Water that it is Cooked’: The Caribbean Origins of the Krome Detention Center,” Radical History Review Special Issue on “Haiti and the World,” Winter 2013.

“ ‘Give Us a Ship’: Vietnamese Repatriates on Guam, 1975,” American Quarterly, March 2012.

  • Winner of the Constance Rourke Essay Prize for the best article published in American Quarterly 2012.
  • Featured in Teaching the American Quarterly,

“ ‘The Face is the Roadmap’: Vietnamese Amerasians in U.S. Political and Popular Culture, 1980-1988,” Journal of Asian American Studies, February 2011: 33-68.

“Between Guantánamo and Montego Bay: Cuba, Jamaica, Migration, and the Cold War, 1959-1962,” Immigrants and Minorities, November 2002: 25-51.

“ ‘Airlines. Lousy Unions.’ Labor in the Era of Junk Bonds and Wall Street Buyouts.” In The 1980s: A Critical and Transitional Decade?” Eds. Kimberly Moffitt and Duncan Campbell. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011.

“Guantánamo and the Case of Kid Chicle: Labor, Privatization, and the Law in the Expansion of US Empire.” In Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State. Eds. Alfred McCoy and Francisco Scarano. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2009.

“ “Buenos Vecinos”, Ciudadanos y Súbditos: Nacionalidad y Competencia Laboral en la Base Naval de Estados Unidos en Guantánamo.” Trans. Rolando García Milián. Ed. Hernán Venegas Delgado et al. Historia Regional y Local. Las ciudades, su historia y su proyección en la región. Cuba-México, Centro Universitario de Los Altos de la Universidad de Guadalajara, Universidad Intercultural de Chiapas, Instituto de Historia de Cuba y Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo, 2008, pp. 209-218.

Works in Progress

Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Repatriates: Vietnamese Refugee Camps 1975-2005 (Book Project, in Progress).

Review Essays

“Immigrant and Black in Edwdige Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying,” Forum: Nation of Immigrants, Modern American History, 2018.

“U.S. Political History in the Age of Trump: A Review Essay,” Nanzan Review of American Studies, 2017.

Selected Prizes and Fellowships

Newcomb Tulane College Honors Professor of the Year, 2019
Newcomb Tulane College Advising Excellence Award, 2018
OAH/JAAS Japan Residency, Osaka University  2017  
Tulane School of Liberal Arts April Brayfield Prize for Excellence in Teaching  2015
Constance Rourke Essay Prize for the best article published in American Quarterly  2012
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation Research Travel Grant  2011
General and Mrs. Matthew B. Ridgway Military History Research Grant   2010
Co-Winner Taft Book Prize in Labor History   2009