A Watershed Moment?
Mary L. Dudziak, ed.
Duke University Press, 2003
Because of continuing demand, Duke University Press ordered a new printing of September 11 in History in fall 2009.
Hours after the collapse of the Twin Towers, the idea that the September 11 attacks had “changed everything” permeated American popular and political discussion. In the period since then, the events of September 11 have been used to justify profound changes in U.S. public policy and foreign relations. Bringing together leading scholars of history, law, literature, and Islam, September 11 in History asks whether the attacks and their aftermath truly marked a transition in U.S. and world history or whether they are best understood in the context of pre-existing historical trajectories.
From a variety of perspectives, the contributors to this collection scrutinize claims about September 11, in terms of both their historical validity and their consequences. Essays range from an analysis of terms like “ground zero,” “homeland,” and “the axis of evil” to an argument that the U.S. naval base at Guantnamo Bay has become a site for acting out a repressed imperial history. Examining the effect of the attacks on Islamic self-identity, one contributor argues that Osama bin Laden enacted an interpretation of Islam on September 11 and asserts that progressive Muslims must respond to it. Other essays focus on the deployment of Orientalist tropes in categorizations of those who “look Middle Eastern,” the blurring of domestic and international law evident in a number of legal developments including the use of military tribunals to prosecute suspected terrorists, and the justifications for and consequences of American unilateralism. This collectionultimately reveals that everything did not change on September 11, 2001, but that some foundations of democratic legitimacy have been significantly eroded by claims that it did.
Table of Contents
Mary L. Dudziak, Introduction
Marilyn B. Young, Ground Zero: Enduring War
Elaine Tyler May, Echoes of the Cold War: The Aftermath of September 11 at Home
Amy B. Kaplan, Homeland Insecurities: Transformations of Language and Space
Khaled Abou el Fadl, 9/11 and the Muslim Transformation
Sherman A. Jackson, Islam(s) East and West: Pluralism between No-Frills and Designer Fundamentalism
Leti Volpp, The Citizen and the Terrorist
Christopher L. Eisgruber and Lawrence G. Sager, Civil Liberties in the Dragons' Domain: Negotiating the Blurred Boundary between Domestic Law and Foreign Affairs after 9/11
Laurence R. Helfer, Transforming International Law after the September 11 Attacks? Three Evolving Paradigms for Regulating International Terrorism
Ruti G. Teitel, Empire's Law: Foreign Relations by Presidential Fiat
Mary L. Dudziak, Afterword: Remembering September 11
Reviews, Links and Ordering Information
am exhilarated by the collective wisdom, creativity, and insight of
this unusual yet riveting distillation of perspectives on September
11.”—Bruce Lawrence, author of Shattering the Myth: Islam beyond Violence
glib assertions that 9/11 ‘changed everything,’ this provocative volume
finds considerable, often worrisome, continuity, as with what Marilyn
Young calls America's ‘puerile arrogance.’ Students of international
relations, the law, and Islam will find these essays essential.”—Michael
S. Sherry, author of In the Shadow of War: The United States since the 1930s
"The strength of this collection is that the diverse disciplinary perspectives that Dudziak has put in conversation (from U.S. constitutional and international law, history, American studies, Islamic law, and theology) offer a range of thoughtful responses to the ideas and claims that "September 11" has come to represent. The essays indicate that September 11 bears family resemblances to other geopolitically charged moments in history, and that it also has altered-or at least intensified-U.S. responses to national security concerns at home and abroad. And it has spurred reflection and debate within Islamic communities about whether there are values and traditions that define Islam....Despite the challenges in deconstructing an event whose implications continue to evolve, the insights in this collection, which went to press in early 2003, remain remarkably fresh and provocative." Andrea McArdle, Peace & Change (April 2005)
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