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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tracing 9/11 Through Culture

M.I.A. performs at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards in 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP)

M.I.A. performs at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards in 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP)

We all know the big films that came from Sept. 11, from “United 93” to “World Trade Center.” There were also major Sept.11 books by John Updike, Don DeLillo, Jonathan Safran Foer and Sue Miller.

But culture critic Jeffrey Melnick says the multiple traumas of Sept. 11 are also woven in more subtle ways through American culture, even 10 years on.

Melnick says shows like “Lost” and films like “Chicken Little,” neither of which mention Sept.11, were about the terrorist attacks.

Melnick says there’s also art focused on the aftermath, what he calls “September 12 Art.”

September 12 art includes films like Steven Speilberg’s “Munich” and music by Hip Hop artists like Eric Sermon and M.I.A and Jay Z’s collaboration the British DJ, Punjabi MC.


  • Jeffrey Melnick, professor of American Studies, College of Liberal Arts at the University of Massachusetts Boston

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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