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The Rhetoric of Terror – Reflections on 9/11 and the War on Terror - Fordham Scholarship Online
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The Rhetoric of Terror: Reflections on 9/11 and the War on Terror

Marc Redfield


The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, did symbolic as well as literal damage. A trace of this cultural shock echoes in the American idiom 9/11: a bare name-date conveying both a trauma (the unspeakable happened then) and a claim on our knowledge. In the first of the two interlinked essays of this book, the author proposes the notion of virtual trauma to describe the cultural wound that this name-date both deflects and relays. Virtual trauma describes the shock of an event at once terribly real and utterly mediated. In consequence, a tormented self-reflexivity has tended to characterize ... More

Keywords: terrorist, 9/11, cultural wound, sovereignty, virtual trauma, war on terror

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780823231232
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823231232.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Marc Redfield, author
Brown University