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Book Talk | Terrorism in American Memory: Memorials, Museums, and Architecture in the Post-9/11 Era

04/13 Wednesday | 5pm

At this time, individuals with active NYU IDs will be granted in-person access to this event. Individuals must show the Daily Screener green pass screen prior to entry. All other audience members are invited to join the event via Zoom. Please RSVP HERE for Zoom and RSVP above for in-person. We hope to have all of our audience members back in-person with us very soon.

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to a book talk for Terrorism in American Memory: Memorials, Museums, and Architecture in the Post-9/11 Era featuring the author Marita Sturken in conversation with Harvey Molotch and Sarah Williams Goldhagen.

Terrorism in American Memory argues that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and all that followed in its wake were the primary force shaping United States politics and culture in the post-9/11 era. Marita Sturken maintains that during the past two decades, when the country was subjected to terrorist attacks and promulgated ongoing wars of aggression, we have veered into increasingly polarized factions and been extraordinarily preoccupied with memorialization and the politics of memory.

The post-9/11 era began with a hunger for memorialization and it ended with massive protests over police brutality that demanded the destruction of historical monuments honoring racist historical figures. Sturken argues that memory is both the battleground and the site for negotiations of national identity because it is a field through which the past is experienced in the present. The paradox of these last two decades is that it gave rise to an era of intensely nationalistic politics in response to global terrorism at the same time that it released the containment of the ghosts of terrorism embedded within US history. And within that disruption, new stories emerged, new memories were unearthed, and the story of the nation is being rewritten. For these reasons, this book argues that the post-9/11 era has come to an end, and we are now in a new still undefined era with new priorities and national demands.

Marita Sturken is Professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and associate faculty in the Department of Cinema Studies in the Tisch School of the Arts. She was department chair from 2009 until 2013. She teaches courses in visual culture, cultural memory, and consumerism. Marita Sturken is the author of Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, the AIDS Epidemic, and the Politics of Remembering (University of California Press, 1997), Thelma & Louise (British Film Institute Modern Classics series, 2009; reissued in 2020), and Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture (with Lisa Cartwright, Oxford University Press, Third Edition 2018), and Tourists of History: Memory, Kitsch, and Consumerism From Oklahoma City to Ground Zero (Duke University Press, 2007), which won the 2007-2008 Transdisciplinary Humanities Book Award from the Institute for Humanities Research, Arizona State University. Her books have been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Czech, and Hebrew.

Harvey Molotch is Professor Emeritus of Sociology NYU and UCSB. He gives special attention to tradeoffs of urban development and issues of security and design. His books include Against Security: How We Go Wrong at Airports, Subways and Other Sites of Ambiguous Danger. He has been a Centennial Professor, London School of Economics; his most recent award is for Career of Distinguished Scholarship (DuBois Award), American Sociological Association 2019. He is currently a visiting professor at Princeton.

Sarah Williams Goldhagen, PhD. (Columbia University) and former Harvard professor, writes, lectures, and consults for a wide range of public and private clients on human centered design for the built environment. Her Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives (HarperCollins; also published in Chinese, Russian, and Korean) won a Nautilus Book Award in 2017 for its contribution to social and environmental justice, and Goldhagen was an opening-night Spotlight speaker at the AIA National Convention that same year. A frequent keynote speaker, Goldhagen has won numerous awards and grants (including three from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts) for her writing on modern and contemporary architecture and landscapes and their psychological and cognitive effects on people. She has published several opinion pieces in the New York Times, served as Contributing Editor for Art in America and Architectural Record, and was the New Republic’s architecture critic for nearly a decade. Goldhagen also has had a distinguished academic career with scholarly publications that include Louis Kahn’s Situated Modernism (Yale University) and Anxious Modernisms: Experimentation in Postwar Architectural Culture (co-edited with Réjean Legault, MIT Press) as well as numerous essays and reviews in premier architecture- and art-historical journals. Currently she sits on the Board of the Van Alen Institute, works closely with the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA), and advises various clients on strategies for promoting and implementing human-centered design. 

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