CFP: The 9/11 Legacy: “History is Not Was, History Is” (New York City, June 15-16, 2017)

For scholars of the US in the world,  here’s a call for papers on the legacies of 9/11 to be held on the former site of the World Trade Center itself:

This conference to be held at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum on the former World Trade Center site will explore the broader legacy of 9/11. We seek panel and paper proposals – both traditional and novel, empirical and conceptual – that consider the myriad ways that the events of September 11, 2001, continue to inform the past, the present and the future: both in the United States and around the world.

This was the most globally witnessed event in history and one that led to the longest war in the history of the United States. What, then, are the legacies that ripple out from the memorial fountains here in lower Manhattan across the city, the country, and the globe? As William Faulkner observed, “History is not was, history is.” How has the event of “9/11” reverberated in our understanding of the past and in more contemporary social, political, and cultural life; in the economy, in war and peace, surveillance and security, the geopolitics of the Middle East, the refugee crisis and in the debates over identity, memory and sacred space? What historical processes might we trace – either backwards or forwards – from September 11, 2001? What news headlines can we connect to 9/11 in meaningful and instructive ways: Paris, Orlando, Istanbul, the Arab Spring, Aleppo, the death of Syrian refugee child Alan Kurdi, Edward Snowden, Russia, the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the list goes on…

We welcome proposals that consider the ways in which, to quote Mark Redfield in The Rhetoric of Terror, a “new history begins here at this calendrical ground zero.”

Topics might include (but are not limited to):

9/11 and historiography
9/11 and periodization
Memory and memorialization
Sacred and contested spaces
“America in the world”
The conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia
Acts of terror around the globe since 9/11
The changing face of terrorism
The changing face of warfare and nation-building
Intelligence, surveillance and counter-terrorism
Para-legality, states of exception and rendition
Nationalism, identity, “self “and “other”
Human rights, civil liberties and conceptions of “freedom”
Shifts in cultural production and representation since 9/11
The media, social media and the “image” of terror
The academy, museums and cultural institutions
The return of religion
The refugee crisis
Discussions of time and space; home and homeland
We especially seek interdisciplinary panel and paper proposals that draw on the intersections between these topics and themes in order to explore the ways in which they might (or might not be) traced back to, or through, 9/11. Do they have a narrative coherence shaped by the forces created that day in September? Or do they operate outside the event, as part of some other inevitable geopolitical shift that we now know only by that name-date even if that shift might have happened anyway?

Scholars, practitioners, curators, graduate students and other professionals are all encouraged to submit paper and panel proposals. To apply, send an abstract of less than 300 words and a CV to 2017conference@911memorial.org. Applications are due April 1, 2017.

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