Senior News Reporter
Global Fellow Braema Mathiaparanam spoke at the Mason Library on October 28. Mathiaparanam shared her research on human rights in South Asia with Keene State students. Mathiaparanam is a visiting senior research fellow from Penang Institute in Malaysia.
“The Global Fellow is connected to the academic department, but we like to host a talk from the fellow and give the campus community a chance to get to know that person and hear about an area they’re interested in,” Dean of Mason Library Celia Rabinowitz said.
The Global Fellowship Program began in the fall of 2017 through a partnership between Keene State College and the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation. The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation is a global institution that works to prevent genocide and mass atrocities. They provide education, training and resources on advocacy and activism to other governmental and educational institutions.
“We’re very happy each year to host a talk given by the Global Fellow. Two of our faculty here, Professor Waller and Professor Green, also work for the institute in their outreach work,” Rabinowitz said.
Every fall semester, Keene State hosts a senior scholar who has graduated from the Auschwitz Institute program.
The scholar lives on campus and has an on-campus office so students can access the fellow. The fellow continues to conduct their research and is able to enroll in courses at Keene State. The Global Fellow also works and learns alongside Keene State students. The fellow hosts talk about their research on campus and in the surrounding region.
“The fellow gets an opportunity to learn from everyone here but also to contribute here and in the region,” Rabinowitz said. “We’ve had a representative from Bosnia, Chile and now from Southeast Asia so we’re very happy that we’ve been able to focus on different geographical areas of the world.”
Braema Mathiaparanam is Keene State’s fall 2019 Global Fellow. Her work focuses on migrant workers, social protection and human rights work. Mathiaparanam has done advocacy and activism work nationally in Malaysia and also internationally. Mathiaparanam founded and led the activist organization MARUAH, which means dignity. MARUAH fights for human rights in countries belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
“Braema is particularly interesting because she’s done a lot of grass-roots, on the ground advocacy work so we’re learning a lot from her about that,” Rabinowitz said.
Mathiaparanam shared her research and recent work in a presentation entitled “A Landscape View of Human Rights in Southeast Asia” on Monday, October 28. Her presentation lasted an hour and then Mathiaparanam opened the floor for questions. Keene State students and faculty attended Mathiaparanam’s presentation. Mathiaparanam has traveled around to present in places like New York.
“What I value most about Keene is that I am learning a lot about the atrocity crimes, the frameworks, the processes and cases that I didn’t know. I’m having those in-depth and theoretical discussions that I value because we are all moving and sometimes we don’t have the time to go deeper into these things,” Mathiaparanam said.
Kelly Regan can be contacted at