Reflecting 9/11: New Narratives in Literature, Television, Film and Theatre
In over fifteen years, the cultural and artistic response to 9/11 has been wide-ranging in form and function. As the turbulent post-9/11 years have unfolded – years that have been shaped and characterized by the War on Terror, the Patriot Act, the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 7/7, Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay – these texts have been commemorative and heroic, have attempted to work through collective and individual traumas, and have struggled with trying to represent the “terrorist other.” Many of these earlier domestic, heroic and traumatic works have so often been read as limitations in narrative. This collection, however, challenges the language of limitation and provides re-readings of earlier work, but also traces the emergence of a new paradigm for discussing the artistic responses to 9/11 – one that frames these narratives as dialogic, self-conscious and self-reflexive interventions in the responses to the attacks, the initial representations of the attacks, and the ever-shifting social and geopolitical continuities of the 9/11 decade.
These texts widen the conversation about the lasting impacts of 9/11, and incorporate strands of discussion on American exceptionalism and imperialism, torture, and otherness, whilst still remaining invested in the personal and collective traumas of the attacks. The authors included here ask crucial questions about the way 9/11 is being historicized: will it, for example, be read as a moment of rupture or epoch? Will it inevitably be attached to the War on Terror or the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? As they trace the emergent patterns of reflexivity, politicization and dissent, the contributions here are also implicitly invested in asking how far they extend.
Heather E. Pope received her PhD in English from St John’s University, USA, and also holds an MFA in Creative Writing. She has published poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction. Her research focuses on post-9/11 popular culture and literature, affect studies, and presidential memoir.
Victoria M. Bryan is English faculty at Cleveland State Community College, USA. She earned her PhD from the University of Mississippi in December 2014 and her work has appeared in Studies in American Jewish Literature, International Journal of American Studies, and Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry.
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