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.
I am very pleased and honoured to have this opportunity to speak at a gathering of the Muslim delegates in London. For the sake of brevity and clarity, I shall limit my comments in general to the Muslim community in this country, though much of what I say may equally be applied to the Muslims in general. Furthermore, since the Maimonides Foundation is an interfaith organisation and does not comment on political issues, I shall steer clear of politics.
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.
Seriousness is achieved when a speaker effectively moves the audience according to his or her intentions. But seriousness is fragile and subject to countless vicissitudes, as illustrated in an encounter with the television evangelist Oral Roberts. I interrogate one of the means used to counter such vicissitudes-hyperbole. Hyperbole may include exaggeration and amplification of all kinds, and may be manifest in deeds as well as words. I first follow hyperbole through 9/11 and the competing ideologies of Salafi jihadists and the Bush administration to show how 'absolute metaphors' are enlisted hyperbolically. I examine too how epic narratives are created as a similar form of hyperbole. Finally, I show how sacredness, another allied form of hyperbole, is attributed to the Holocaust in present-day Germany. Throughout I argue, and illustrate, how anthropological writing is of necessity ironic, such that irony is better than 'cultural relativism' as an understanding of the anthropological enterprise.
This article examines how German Turks employ the German Jewish trope to establish an analogous discourse for their own position in German society. Drawing on the literature on immigrant incorporation, we argue that immigrants take more established minority groups as a model in their incorporation process. Here, we examine how German Turks formulate and enact their own incorporation into German society. They do that, we argue, by employing the master narrative and socio-cultural repertoire of Germany's principal minority, German Jewry. This is accomplished especially in relation to racism and antisemitism, as an organizational model and as a political model in terms of making claims against the German state. We argue that in order to understand immigrant incorporation, it is not sufficient to look at state-immigrant relations only—authors also need to look at immigrant groups' relationships with other minority groups.
Rethymno, Crete 9-11 December 2003
Oxford 15 November 2003 28 February 2004 19 June 2004
Perugia 13-14 May 2004
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.
The Canada/U.S. border has not shifted physically in many years but psychologically the border is in a very different place today than before 9/11. While the various agreements of the late 1900s seemed to indicate that the border was becoming an informal formality, the events of 9/11 resulted in a significant increase in wait times as security protocols were tightened. This review article considers recent scholarship on border mobility, waiting, and their implications moving forward.
Some Critical Issues
William H. Thornton, Ya-chung Chuang, and Horng-luen Wang
In the wake of 9/11 and the 'war on terrorism,' doubts arose as to the staying power of the antiglobalist movement. Its future rested on a fragile "green and blue" alliance of environmental, labor and human rights activists—and on the general tide of public concern. The President's recording-breaking approval ratings after 9/11 reflect an adverse turning of that tide, not only among settled adults, but also the youth who comprise the bulk of every antiglobalist demonstration. Can this ostensibly Left movement maintain the momentum it achieved in Seattle, Prague, Quebec City, and Genoa? To what extent will moderate and civil antiglobalism fall under the shadow of terroristic antiglobalism?