9/11 represents less a tear in the fabric of history, or a break with the past, than an inflection in ongoing historical processes, such as the continued expansion of capitalism that at some recent time has supposedly attained a level of globalization. This paper considers the relation of war and politics with respect to three instances arising in the wake of 9/11, including the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, and finally the global war on terror (GWT). I argue that these wars are superficially dissimilar, but that on a deeper level they all relate to a single ideological position that is an important motivation in current US foreign policy, and that this position is further related to capitalism.
Journeys in Afghanistan from Byron to Hosseini
This article looks at three disparate travel texts—Robert Byron's classic 1937 travelogue The Road to Oxiana, Khaled Hosseini's massively popular 2003 novel The Kite Runner, and Michael Winterbottom's emotionally wrenching 2002 fauxdocumentary In This World—which deal, either directly or indirectly, with Afghanistan. It argues that the geographical coordinates of Afghanistan have recently been confused with the “War on Terror,” and that one of the most notable results of this has been the ideological assimilation of a Central Asian nation to the post–9/11-inspired imaginative geography of a “Greater Middle East.” The article seeks to account for this latter-day history of geographical misprision, but also for the triangulated relationship between travel, empire, and colonial modernity that underlies it—a relationship in which the US-dominated “colonial present” (Gregory 2004) maps onto the British imperial past.
Perspectives on the Economic Revitalization of Lower Manhattan
The 9/11 attacks claimed the lives of thousands of New Yorkers and also devastated the economy in Lower Manhattan. Many local businesses and restaurants were forced to close, and thousands of residents were displaced from their homes. For more than a decade, the neighborhoods surrounding the World Trade Center site struggled to stay afloat economically. However, recent years have witnessed the revitalization of this area as developers have built new office and retail spaces as well as museums and memorials that attract visitors from around the globe. Drawing from fieldwork conducted between 2010 and 2017, this article analyzes the significance of these rapid economic developments for individuals who were personally affected by the attacks. Some persons condemned the changes as immoral, believing that money and respectful remembrance cannot coexist. Others viewed the revitalization as redemptive, the product of the communitas that had united citizens after the tragedy.
Shakespeare and Marlowe in the Wake of 9/11
This article examines the relationship between Shakespeare and Marlowe as it has been portrayed in biographical forms in the early twenty-first century. Just six months before the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Katherine Duncan-Jones's biography of Shakespeare, entitled Ungentle Shakespeare, burst on the scene and the political landscape was as altered as the biographical renderings of the two playwrights. I begin my survey with a brief review of Duncan-Jones's book, before focusing on biographical works which followed hers to show how twenty-first-century biography has already re-written the relationship.
We begin this issue with a Symposium entitled “Sartre and Terror.” It is introduced by Kenneth Anderson and it opens with a translation by Elizabeth Bowman of Sartre’s commentary on the 1972 Munich massacre. She has prefaced it with a summary of events. Next Ronald Aronson focuses on the events of 9/11 and distinguishes between permissible and destructive violence.
The Vampire and Transnationalism in the Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse Series
This article reads Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series and Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels as contemporary developments in the Gothic genre reflecting current issues of group and national identity. It extends the trope of the vampire as a site of national anxiety to a globalised, post 9/11 context where national identity is renegotiated and transformed. In Harris's novels, the vampires reveal themselves as Other to humans but integrate by accepting human definitions of nation and race which are then superceded by globalised trade. In Meyer's series, supposedly discrete groups of humans and non-humans evolve niche groupings that transform and react to the exigencies of history. Drawing upon Bill Ashcroft's use of the term 'articulation' to describe the cognizant construction of identity through the influences of social, national and religious traditions, the contemporary vampire is read as the place where renegotiations of national identity in a transnational era are visible.
The scope, compass and nature of the United States of America’s power in the post-9/11 context has run as a thematic thread through recent issues of Theoria.
Roger Deacon, Ben Parker, Herman C. Waetjen, and Lasse Thomassen
Humanity, Terrorism, Terrorist War: Palestine, 9-11, Iraq, 7-7..., by Ted Honderich Roger Deacon
The Struggle for Meaning: Reflections on Philosophy, Culture and Democracy in Africa, by Paulin J. Hountondji Ben Parker
The Rationalists: Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz by Pauline Phemister Herman C. Waetjen
The Divided West by Jürgen Habermas Lasse Thomassen
Silence, Risk and Fear among Tourists and Nepalis during Nepal's Civil War
The conflict between the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the Nepalese state, from 1996 until 2006, resulted in thousands of "disappeared" and dead Nepalis, and, especially after 9/11, a sharp decline in tourism in Nepal. Yet the tourists who came had good journeys. Based on ethnographic research, this article explores how these two worlds—of tourism, and the darkness of war, variously experienced—coexisted in the winter of 2002 in the lakeside resort of Pokhara. The article describes how the culture of silence that emerged during the war permeated interactions between Nepalis and visitors, and that there are shades of darkness as well as shades of fear. Situations are not black and white and people's experiences are contingent on contexts and backgrounds that are diverse and complex. Complementing studies of dark tourism, that is tourism about darkness, this is a study of tourism in darkness.
U.S. Foreign Policy and the U.S. Self
Robin W. Cameron
Why is it that one feels as though they have to say that 9/11 was a ‘tragic’, ‘terrible’ or ‘horrific’ event? Why is this inclination intensified if one seeks to comment critically on U.S. politics? Is it not clear that death on that scale and in that manner is without exception horrific, terrible and tragic? Or, is it that as a critical scholar I feel compelled to clarify that I am not with the terrorists simply because I intend to critique aspects of U.S. foreign policy? The point of this is not to argue that one should stop referring to 9/11 as ‘horrific’, ‘terrible’ or ‘tragic’, but rather to examine what causes individuals to monitor the way in which they act when they engage with a powerful foreign policy consensus.