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Beyond 9/11

Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Twenty-First Century U.S. American Culture


Edited By Christian Klöckner, Simone Knewitz and Sabine Sielke

Rather than turning backward and remembering 9/11, this book sets out to reflect on how the events of September 11, 2001, have shifted our perspectives on a whole series of political, economic, social, and cultural processes. Beyond 9/11 raises the question how the intense debates on the 2001 terrorist attacks and their aftermaths have come to shape our present moment and frame what lies ahead. At the same time, this collection acknowledges that the label «9/11» has often bracketed cultural complexities we have only begun to understand. In Beyond 9/11, contributors from the fields of American studies, political science, economics, history, theology, and the arts reappraise the cultural climate and the global impact of the United States in the second decade of the twenty-first century.


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The Costs and Commodification of 9/11


T im K r ie g e r Calculating the Costs of 9/11 September 11, 2001, was “a day of unprecedented shock and suffering” not only in the history of the United States of America (National Commission xv), but to people all around the world. Using airplanes as deadly weapons, terrorists hit the very heart of the New York City financial district, the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, as well as the Washington Pentagon, while a further attack on another symbolic place on U.S. soil could be prevented by the brave passengers of United Airlines Flight 93. The impact of the collapse of the Twin Towers to an unprepared nation was so enormous that there was - and still is - a wide­ spread belief that the events of 9/11 constituted a turning point in history (see, for example, Habermas 4). In fact, even ten years after the 9/11 terrorist acts fifty-eight percent of Americans believed that the attacks had fundamentally altered the way people in this country lived their lives; and since 2001 there has been no decrease in the percentage of Americans who say they have permanent­ ly changed the way they live their own lives (Jones). Compared to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, other important events in the history of transnational terrorism, such as the Lockerbie bombing with 270 fatalities on December 21, 1988, appear relatively minor despite their significant - mainly political - impact. Similarly, the first terrorist attack on the New York World Trade Center on...

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