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As the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks approaches, the contributors to this issue of Radical History Review discuss the meanings of 9/11 and critically investigate the ties between memorializing and mythologizing. They probe the contested understandings of the attacks in political rhetoric, policy explanations, cinema, literature, visual arts, photography, public spaces, museums, archives, and education. One article examines the relationship of changing accounts of 9/11 to the shifting directions of US foreign policy; another, to the FBI’s war on terror at home. In an interview, the historian Andrew Bacevich links 9/11 to “perpetual warfare” and a crisis of civilian control over the military. Other contributors analyze the changing meanings of the memorial to the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon in Arlington National Cemetery and explore the role of victims’ families in struggles over memorialization at the World Trade Center site.
Other articles address oral histories of 9/11, efforts to retrieve digital artifacts of the events, and attempts to teach these events critically in the classroom. Several pieces look at visual representations related to the attacks (including the film Cloverfield) and literary depictions by such authors as John Updike, Don DeLillo, and Dan Brown. Finally, the issue presents two series of original works of arts that subversively reflect 9/11: images from the Index of the Disappeared project and cartoons from Life during Wartime.
Jim O’Brien Writer and Editor, University of Massachusetts Boston
Andor Skotnes Professor of History, the Sage Colleges, Troy and Albany, New York
Contributors: Paul L. Atwood, Sonia Baelo-Allué, Bob Batchelor, Stephen Brier, Joshua Brown, Mary Marshall Clark, Ann Cvetkovich, Chitra Ganesh, Miriam Ghani, Ivan Greenberg, Jeffrey R. Kerr-Ritchie, Jaclyn Kirouac-Fram, Linda Levitt, Micki McElya, Jeffrey Melnick, Jim O’Brien, Thomas Riegler, Amir Saeed, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, Magid Shihade, Andor Skotnes, James Stone, Kent Worcester
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Andor Skotnes is associate professor of history of the Americas at The Sage Colleges in Troy, New York. He teaches courses in working-class, African-American, Native American, and Latin American history and culture, and in oral history.
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