Panel debate social, cultural effects of 9/11 attacks

By Matt Spartz

At the same time as Monday’s presidential address, a packed house crowded Levis Faculty Center for a panel discussion to debate the lasting effects of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Sponsored by the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, the event was titled “Has Anything Changed? Critical Theory After 9/11.” The panel questioned the social and cultural effects the tragic event has had on the United States.

Panelist Behrooz Ghamari, a professor of history and sociology at the University, sarcastically cited that everyone chose to be part of the discussion instead of listening to the presidential address taking place at the same time.

Michael Rothberg, associate professor for the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory and moderator for the evening posed the question: “has anything changed?”

“It seemed to me that 9/11 is such an important event in recent history for the U.S. and for the world,” Rothberg said. “What I wanted to do was stimulate discussion that was open and free-ranging and not afraid to challenge common sense and taken-for-granted ideas.”

Other panelists included Jim Hansen, associate professor of English at the University, and Susan Hegeman and Philip Wegner, associate professors of English at the University of Florida.

The four panelists packed many challenging propositions and ideas into their 10 minute speeches.