CFP: [20th] "Narrating 9/11" : ACLA panel

full name / name of organization: 
bimbisar irom
contact email: 

Please submit proposals for individual papers through the ACLA (American
Comparative Literature Association) website. This is for the conference
next year at Harvard, 26-29 March 2009. The deadline for submission is 1
November, 2008. For any queries, please email bimbisar irom

Narrating 9/11- Towards a Cosmopolitan Art

Is 9/11 a global event or a local one? In what ways do the global and the
local matrices intersect and conflict in aesthetic representations of 9/11?
The wide consensus about the September 11 attacks has been that it has made
fragile previous definitions of national security, citizenship, and
‘American exceptionalism’. We are interested in exploring how its
representations engage with notions of the human and national boundaries.
If art aspires towards a connective potential- a realization greater than
the immediate involvement with the hermetic self- how do those aspirations
cohabit with the representation of September 11? What are the ways in which
such articulations conflict with or inhabit peaceably with the determining
factors of nation, state, and cultural others? Our panel will explore these
questions across boundaries of genres, forms, and nations and suggest how
9/11 as artistic text manages to either extrapolate and foreground a
transcendent notion of the humane, or succumb to pressures of nation,
state, and cultural foreignness that are hostile to the broadest
definitions of the human.
We will examine a variety of works that thematize and depict 9/11, and
investigate the ways in which aesthetic creation seeks to extract meaning
and socially pliable formulations from traumatic events. The session will
think critically of these texts’ engagements with the problematic of
representation and seeks to foster a debate through an examination which
includes perspectives both from within and outside the continental United

Possible texts

United States

In the Shadow of No Towers â€" Art Spiegelman (graphic novel)
United 93- Paul Greengrass (film)
Falling Man- Don De Lillo (novel)
World Trade Center- Oliver Stone (film)
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close- Jonathan Safran Foer (novel)
A Day at the Beach- Helen Schulman (novel)
The Good Life - Jay McInerney (novel)
9-11: The World's Finest Comic Book Writers and Artists Tell Stories to
Remember (graphic novel)
The Guys- Anne Nelson (play)
Fahrenheit 9/11- dir. Michael Moore (film)
The Fallen 9/11- Michael Sinclair (play)
Reno: Rebel Without a Pause (stage act/filmed performance)
The Domestic Crusaders- Wajahat Ali (play)
Portraits- Jonathan Bell (play)
Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11- Damon DiMarco
Recent Tragic Events- Craig Wright (play)
9/11: A day in the Life of a People- Charles Dumas (play)
Five Bells for 9/11- Rich Swingle (play)
Twilight of the Superheroes- Deborah Eisenberg (short stories)

Texts from outside the United States

September 11- a series of 11 films made by 11 directors from 11 different
countries including Samira Makhmalbaf, Claude Lelouch, Alejandro Gonzalez
Inarritu, Amos Gitai, Mira Nair, and Sean Penn
The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland- Jim DeFede
Hyperlynx- John McGrath (play, UK)
Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota- dir. Naseeruddin Shah (film, India)

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Received on Sun Oct 05 2008 - 21:42:27 EDT