"Cultural Productions of 9/11"

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Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture

Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture requests submissions for

Issue 11.2 "Cultural Productions of 9/11"

Deadline for proposals: February 1, 2010 (final drafts of invited submissions will be due August 15, 2010)

How has the subject of "9/11" been produced? From the moments when people cried "too soon" to the gratuitous preying on the subject in the name of "9/11"—how has this date stamp affected cultural production?

This special issue of Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture will present a range of disciplinary responses to the aftereffects—as well as the affective hype—of the notoriously popular subject of 9/11. We mean the subject of 9/11 to register in least two senses: as the topic of myriad discourses, and also as the individual liberal subjects who were (and still are) affected, traumatized, or otherwise interpellated by the effects and afterimages of 9/11. Therefore, we are not as interested in "what really happened" on that day as much as we are interested in the cultural production(s) of 9/11—how "9/11" became a subject as such. We hope to analyze how the events of 9/11 created a cause–effect reversal of sorts, and how by its very utterance, 9/11 can evoke affective trauma. We are also interested in the material implications for thinking that after 9/11, certain things in the world "had changed."

We therefore solicit focused articles from divergent fields and disciplines that reconsider the subject of 9/11. We do not claim to know whether it is still "too soon" or whether the subject has had "enough time" to be thought about clearly; indeed, we hope to indicate the difficulty of such considerations in the issue. The issue will thus seek to foster a dialogue wherein we might begin to gauge the mythological and affective reverberations of this strange moniker, "9/11."

While there has been a staggering amount of work that has tried to make sense of this subject, from films to novels, from conspiracy theories to The 9/11 Commission Report, this special issue of Reconstruction will attempt instead to bracket the subject as a subject—that is, we seek essays that assess what trends have emerged and what gaps have been opened up by the cultural production(s) of this subject. We envision a series of scholarly articles, as well as a significant review section of cultural productions (in myths, medicine, advertising, music, movies, architecture) that may not warrant full-length essays, but still deserve critical notation in terms of the subject produced by "9/11."


We invite work that focuses on the following topics:

The 'subject' of 9/11

The alleged singularity of 9/11

Collective responses to 9/11

"Security threat levels"

Trauma theory



9/11's visual culture

Law(s) produced by 9/11

Post-9/11 military technologies

Effects of "The War on Terror" in everyday life

Architectural responses to and challenges posed by 9/11

The post-9/11 novel

A 9/11 refrain: "It looked like a movie!"

Cultural imperialism and 9/11

The "other" 9/11

Music 'inspired' by 9/11

9/11 as a cause–effect reversal

9/11/2001 as the marker of a new phase or period

The mobilities of 9/11

Cultural productions of 9/11 deemed "too soon"

9/11 as the end of irony

Ecology after 9/11

9/11 and the clinic


This list of topics is representative but not exhaustive; please feel free to propose articles or reviews that are in line with the scope of the issue but whose contents may not appear above.

Send abstracts or proposals of no more than 300 words as well as a CV to co-editors Christopher Schaberg (schaberg@loyno.edu) and Kara Thompson (kara.thompson@oberlin.edu) no later than February 1, 2010 (final drafts of invited submissions will be due August 15, 2010). We are happy to answer queries concerning review pieces or other possible submissions.


Reconstruction articles are archived in the MLA database. All submissions are refereed. Papers must follow the Reconstruction guidelines for submission <http://reconstruction.eserver.org/guidelines.shtml>.