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Department of American Studies College of Arts and Sciences

News & Events

Seeing America through Foreign Eyes after 9/11: Foreign Policy, Cultural Developments

Monday, September 12, 2011
2:15-5:30 p.m., Georgian Room, IMU

The events of 9/11 and the response of people in the United States to the violent attacks of that day have profoundly reshaped how policy makers, producers of culture, and people from all walks of life around the globe see this country. The rhetoric of the U.S. administration, with its strong language about 'the war on terror' and the 'axis of evil' provoked equally strong reactions, some of support, others of unreserved criticism. Other voices, from academia to Hollywood, added their own dimension to how Americans represented their country to the world. Perhaps most important, the wider world came to look differently at U.S., with some conceiving of it as a nascent empire, capable of restoring peace and tranquility, and still others naming it a puritanical bully.

Ten years after the event of that September, it is a fitting moment to revisit the global, cultural and political responses to these new American discourses about fear, liberty, and security, to better understand how others view the United States, and how our position of political, strategic, and cultural global power has been transformed by this shifting set of relations with peoples and governments around the world.

The event will consist of two panels featuring IU experts on cultural and political current events, collectively covering the globe. The first panel will focus primarily on questions of foreign policy, while the second will focus primarily on cultural phenomena. Each panelist will be asked to make a 10 minute (and no longer than that) opening statement, to encourage a lively discussion, and panelist from the other panel will have the first chance to respond to those opening statements. The public will be invited to participate, but questions and comments from the audience will be limited to no longer than a minute.


Gardner Bovigdon (Central Eurasian Studies)
Nick Cullather (History)
Jeff Isaac (Political Science)
Kevin Jaques (Religious Studies/Islamic Studies)
Hilary Kahn (Center for Global Change/Latin American and Caribbean Studies)
Padraic Kenney (History/REEI)
Patrick O'Meara (Political Science/African Studies)
Nazif Shahrani (Near Eastern Languages and Cultures/Anthropology)
Micol Seigel (African American and African Diaspora Studies/American Studies/Latin American and Caribbean Studies)


Maria Bucur (Themester committee/History/REEI)
Bob Ivie (Themester committee/Communication and Culture)