January 5-22, 2009 by Christianna Leahy from the Main Campus
The January Term course "September 11th and Its Aftermath" will be an examination of the attacks of 9/11 and their aftermath. The proverbial question of WHY the attacks happened will be explored from a number of methodological angles, including paradigms of neoimperialism, Chalmers Johnson's hypothesis of "blowback" and the arguments related to "the tyranny of oil" made by Antonia Juhasz. There will be an examination of the role of the United Kingdom, historically in the region of the Middle East and currently as the major military ally of the United States fighting in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the attacks of "7/7" in London in 2005. The response of the Bush administration via the "Global War on Terror" will be examined in all of its domestic implications (the USA PATRIOT Act, subsequent losses of civil liberties of US citizens, racial profiling of Arab-Americans, and elimination of the writ of habeas corpus) and international policies (the legal war in Afghanistan, the illegal war waged against Iraq on the pretense of the presence of WMD), the horrific abuses of human rights (in Guantatamo, Abu Ghraib, and Baghram airforce base) and the egregious violations of the Geneva Conventions. Popular interpretations of the events and their aftermath will be explored through some of the contemporary literature, plays, poetry and music, from the US and the UK, and throughout the world.
Reading materials will include Mohsin Hamid' novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist as well as a reading packet.