Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.628665
Title: Behind apocalypse : the cultural legacy of 9/11
Author: Leggatt, Matthew
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract:
‘Part One: 9/11 and the Death of the Capitalist Utopia’ focuses on how 9/11 has been memorialised, mythologised, and mobilised by contemporary culture. It examines a range of cultural materials from literature, film, and architecture, to 9/11 in the media. The section discusses, through a fusion of cultural and political thought, how the War on Terror became the inevitable continuation of the binary rhetoric of good and evil perpetuated since 9/11. Chapter One, entitled ‘Falling Man’, examines the complex relationship between art and 9/11, and the impact of images of those seen falling from the towers, primarily using Don DeLillo’s Falling Man, and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close to discuss the role of censorship after 9/11. The chapter progresses to look at Hollywood’s overt response to 9/11 with World Trade Center and United 93. Chapter Two: ‘Reflecting Absence’ contains a reading of the 9/11 memorial used as a case study of the preferred narrative of 9/11. The chapter establishes a regressive rhetoric produced after 9/11 and used to fuel support for a more aggressive stance towards foreign policy. In ‘Part Two: The Earth Burns Again: the Culture of Apocalypse in Contemporary Cinema’, I examine the specific case of apocalyptic narratives post 9/11. This is achieved through comparison pieces between late 90s apocalyptic films and those released after 9/11. It develops much of the theory put forward in the first chapter, showing how this can be applied not just to texts linked directly to 9/11, but also to texts about the future. Chapter Three: ‘The Abuse of Apocalypse’ begins with an examination of genre and the place of the apocalyptic narrative. I establish two distinct ‘waves’ and then move on to discuss a fascination with the ‘post’- apocalyptic after 9/11. This is framed by a comparison between 90s apocalyptic film and film post 9/11. Here I address the lone survivor narrative and further discuss the aesthetic differences between the two waves. Chapter Four: ‘You’ve Gotta Have Faith: Issues of Religion and Faith in Post 9/11 Apocalyptic Cinema’, continues by examining the developing theme of religion within these post 9/11 apocalypse movies. This second part of the thesis is more focused on textual analysis, using the theory already discussed to inform a deeper and more specific discussion of the ways in which this movie genre/sub-genre is indicative of the wider issues at stake. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the economic apocalypse which is evident in both the text and filmic versions of Cosmopolis. It places these ideas of an apocalyptic cultural mentality within the contemporary framework of the global financial meltdown, as well as summarises and returns to the main themes of the work, namely ideas about our ability to imagine the future, and the end of ideas of progress in traditional cultural forms. Over the last decade 9/11 has been a popular source for writers of both fiction and non-fiction. The unique contribution this thesis makes to the body of work on 9/11 lies in its examination of primary texts alongside political and cultural theory. Most importantly, the way in which I combine narrative and aesthetic theory with textual analysis to build a narrative of post 9/11 apocalyptic thinking gives an overall framework to an otherwise fractious discourse on the popular imagination post 9/11.
Supervisor: Williams, Linda ; Jordan, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.628665  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PR English literature
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