SEIS Academic Forum Series
Forum on American Studies NO.19
Topic: Victims of Terror and the Nation: Nationalism and the September 11 Memorial & Museum
Speaker: Tim Gruenewald, Director of American Studies, University of Hong Kong
Venue: Room 115, SEIS Building, BFSU
Time: 3:00 – 5:00 pm, March 18 (Friday), 2016
About the Seminar
After the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York City the recovery and cleanup lasted almost nine months. However, it took ten years before the 9/11 memorial was completed and twelve and a half years before the museum was dedicated. This long duration resulted from the arduous decision making process and the massive scope of Michael Arad’s design plan “Reflecting Absence.”After a brief summary of the site’s history, this talk investigates the remembrance site as a visual memorial space combining methodologies from visual, film, and literary studies. Based on photographic evidence, I reconstruct the memorial museum’s narrative and argue that the site fosters a cult of collective and individual victimhood in order to present a story of national resilience and resurrection.
About the Speakers
Tim Gruenewald is Assistant Professor and Director of American Studies at The University of Hong Kong. He is originally from Germany and has M.A. degrees in American and film studies from the University of Mannheim and from Emory University in Atlanta and received his PhD in Germanics from the University of Washington. He has published and lectured internationally on U.S. and German film, television, graphic novels, and remembrance sites. His feature documentary film Sacred Ground (2015) was an official selection in film festivals in Seattle, Athens, OH, and Idyllwild, CA, where it won the Independent Spirit Award. He is currently working on a book length study on national memorial museums in Washington, DC and New York City.