CFP- The 9/11 Legacy: “History is Not Was, History Is”

Friday, February 3, 2017 - 1:30pm

The 9/11 Legacy:

“History is Not Was, History Is

National September 11 Memorial & Museum, New York City, June 15-16,2017

  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • National September 11 Memorial & Museum
  • New York University

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 nationbuilding
  • Intelligence, surveillance and counterterrorism
  • Paralegality, 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?

We invite paper and panel proposals from scholars, practitioners, curators, graduate students and other professionals who can speak to the conference theme. Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and CV to the conference organizers at [email protected] by April 1, 2017. Panel proposals should include an additional abstract for the theme of the panel. Some financial assistance will be available to help offset the cost of attendance. Selected papers may be included in a follow-up edited volume/special edition.

Conference Organizers:

Dr. Andrew Hammond
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow – National September 11 Memorial and Museum/New York University

Dr. Lindsay Balfour
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow – National September 11 Memorial and Museum/New York University