HISTORY 302 - Topics in History
Section: 001 September 11
Term: FA 2007
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
With permission of instructor.
May be elected three times for credit.
Primary Instructor:

There is no way to measure the impact of the September 11, 2001 attacks, and certainly no way to predict how those attacks — and the responses to them — will be viewed in twenty-five years from now. But September 11 was unquestionably a unique day in the nation's history, and uniquely unsettling in its effect. Such extraordinary events have always inspired contemporaries to inquire into their causes, their consequences, and their meanings. September 11 offers an unusual opportunity for doing so given that it occurred in a time (and in places) with so many means for knowing and recording it. Never before has a whole nation witnessed such an event while it was happening.

This course will examine September 11 from many vantage points, beginning with why it happened — a subject yet to get serious public airing — and then moving on to how the nation responded to the immediate shock of the day. We will then look at the ways the nation and its leaders chose to interpret the attacks, respond to them, and subsequently respond to its victims, the living as well as the dead. We will also examine how and why the nation's politicians and political values have been affected as they have, and how its writers and artists have chosen to deal with it. Finally, we will deal with the battles over how to memorialize September, and what those battles tell us about who we are as a people.

A syllabus has yet to be worked out for the course. Choosing the materials now and working out a schedule of classes a year ahead makes no sense for a "living" event. Still, there are some texts that are almost certain to be included.

The 9/11 Commission Report
Thomas Keane and Lee Hamilton, Without Precedent
Rowan Williams, Writing in the Dust
William Langewiesche, American Ground
Don DeLillo, In the Ruins of the Future
Tom Junod, The Falling Man
Various websites containing photographs of the attacks will be used, as well as the film "United 93."

HISTORY 302 - Topics in History
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (LEC)
3LSA Hnrs
M 10:00AM - 1:00PM
Note: This class will be conducted in seminar format for LSA HONORS students only.
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