Emerging Memories: A Rhetorical History of Remembering after September 11, 2001
Events like September 11 create ruptures with the past, leading to the construction of public memory sites to capture the past and the moment of transformation. While many scholars focus on official, more stable memorials and ask questions about the impact of these sites on present understanding, I argue processes of public remembering evolve through a complex process that cannot be overlooked. In my dissertation, I examine the process of collectively remembering September 11, beginning in the immediate aftermath and culminating with the opening of the September 11 museum in downtown New York City. I consider how remembering 9/11 has developed over time by compiling a comprehensive, chronological, and systematic rhetorical history of memory artifacts. To do so, I locate major shifts in the process of constructing shared narratives about this event, analyze individual rememberers accounts of this past, and examine the interplay between participants at both official and local levels. Ultimately, I argue that considering the process of remembering in addition to stable sites of memory is critical to understanding the development of shared stories and the missed opportunities that could clarify memory practices and enhance how we respond to the past.
- Chapter 1 considers the earliest reports in newspaper stories from September 12, 2001.
- Chapter 2 takes up oral history collections and the personal narratives shared in these volumes.
- Chapter 3 examines how the Park51 controversy complicates and reveals underlying assumptions related to ongoing memory practices.
- Chapter 4 investigates how early activities of remembering laid the groundwork for official memorial sites – including the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in NYC, the Pentagon Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the Flight 93 Memorial outside Shanksville, PA.
(A more in depth overview of my dissertation project can be found here.)
“Paul A. Cohen, History and Popular Memory: The Power of Story in Moments of Crisis” Book Review. Storyworlds 6.2 (2014).
Voices in the Crowd: Oral Histories and Public Remembering RSA 2016
“Troubling” Instructor Feedback: Fostering Transfer Through Strategic Commenting CCCC 2016
Official Frames for Remembering September 11: A Top-Down Approach RSA 2014
Public Memory and Social Knowledge in the Case of the 9/11 Memorial and Park51 Controversy RSA 2014
The Park51 Controversy and the Construction of Public Memory after 9/11 IU Bloomington Grad Conference 2012
Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Integration in the Curriculum DHSI June 2016
Rhetoric, Memory, Archive, Museum RSA Institute June 2013
Poster Presentations of Research
Technology Enhanced Learning: Writing Practices in the Humanities Teaching and Learning Summit 2016
Using Google Drive to Create a Collaborative Writing Community Teaching and Learning Summit 2016
Emerging Memories: A Rhetorical History of Remembering After September 11 Innovation with Impact 2016
RSA Rhetoric Society of America
NCTE National Council of Teachers of English