Since September 11, public discourse has often been framed in terms of absolutes: an age of innocence gives way to a present under siege, while the United States and its allies face off against the Axis of Evil. This special issue of Social Text aims to move beyond these binaries toward thoughtful analysis. The editors argue that the challenge for the Left is to develop an antiterrorism stance that acknowledges the legacy of U.S. trade and foreign policy as well as the diversity of the Muslim faith and the dangers presented by fundamentalism of all kinds.Examining the strengths and shortcomings of area, race, and gender studies in the search for understanding, this issue considers cross-cultural feminism as a means of combating terrorism; racial profiling of Muslims in the context of other racist logics; and the homogenization of dissent. The issue includes poetry, photographic work, and an article by Judith Butler on the discursive space surrounding the attacks of September 11. This impressive range of contributions questions the meaning and implications of the events of September 11 and their aftermath.
Contributors. Muneer Ahmad, Meena Alexander, Lopamudra Basu, Judith Butler, Zillah Eisenstein, Stefano Harney, Randy Martin, Rosalind C. Morris, Fred Moten, Sandrine Nicoletta, Yigal Nizri, Jasbir K. Puar, Amit S. Rai, Ella Shohat, Ban Wang