9/11 and the Visual Culture of Disaster

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Publisher Description

“[An] insightful view on how 9/11 is perceived in American society—the day that ‘refuses to enter history,’ the tragedy that ‘has, in effect, not yet passed.’” —Journal of Popular Culture

The day the towers fell, indelible images of plummeting rubble, fire, and falling bodies were imprinted in the memories of people around the world. Images that were caught in the media loop after the disaster and coverage of the attack, its aftermath, and the wars that followed reflected a pervasive tendency to treat these tragic events as spectacle.

Though the collapse of the World Trade Center was “the most photographed disaster in history,” it failed to yield a single noteworthy image of carnage. Thomas Stubblefield argues that the absence within these spectacular images is the paradox of 9/11 visual culture, which foregrounds the visual experience as it obscures the event in absence, erasure, and invisibility. From the spectral presence of the Tribute in Light to Art Spiegelman’s nearly blank New Yorker cover, from the elimination of the Twin Towers from TV shows and films to the monumental cavities of Michael Arad’s 9/11 memorial, the void became the visual shorthand for the incident. By examining configurations of invisibility and erasure across the media of photography, film, monuments, graphic novels, and digital representation, Stubblefield interprets the post-9/11 presence of absence as the reaffirmation of national identity that implicitly laid the groundwork for the impending invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“A concise, engaging, and thought-provoking work that asks the reader to reassess their knowledge and relationship to that moment and the resulting milieu of post 9/11 life in America.” —ARLIS/NA Reviews

“Extraordinarily brilliant . . . will change how we think about disasters and tragedies. The book is a must-read for both students and practitioners of media studies.” —Repository

GENRE
Nonfiction
RELEASED
2014
December 17
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
246
Pages
PUBLISHER
Indiana University Press
SELLER
OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC
SIZE
4.2
MB

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