Athabasca Univeristy

Course Details

9/11: Excavating Ground Zero

Course Description

This course examines globalization by means of a virtual archaeology of Ground Zero—that is, the sixteen acres on which stood the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre, which were destroyed during the attacks we have come to know as "9/11." "9/11," then, is a point of entry into "globalization." The course explores exactly what stood on that five-by-four-blocks plot of land since colonization, in the context of three forms of capital: fictitious, industrial, and merchant. This "archaeology" uses a particular type of abstraction: the whole from the part, the global from the local. Finally, having descended to the origins of merchant capital in North America, we return to the surface, the present day, and consider globalization as a dialectic of opposites—a dialectic evident in 9/11 itself. The course itself embodies the latest instruments of time/space compression at the heart of globalization. It exists almost entirely in the hyperreality of cyberspace and teaches by showing how to navigate that reality.

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9/11: Excavating Ground Zero Athabasca Univeristy