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After 9/11: The Ubiquity of Others

After 9/11: The Ubiquity of Others

(p.1) Introduction After 9/11: The Ubiquity of Others
Romanticism and the Question of the Stranger
David Simpson
University of Chicago Press

After the events of 9/11, the world was said to have changed forever. There is a question of how the world changed, exactly, and how it affected the consciousness of the human race. Did it change merely for America or for some larger sector of the world? This chapter looks at the concept of the stranger and the stranger syndrome. The stranger may or may not be foreign in terms of distance, but may also be local—as in someone who was previously familiar but is now alien or estranged. How did the figure of the stranger play into this post 9/11 world, or even before it? Certain authors and their books are gleamed for their insights on the matter, such as John C. Miller’s Crisis in Freedom (1951) or Julia Kristeva’s Strangers to Ourselves (1991). Each book gives a representation of historical, philosophical and sometimes polemical contexts for the questions that surround the stranger or the alien.

Keywords:   stranger syndrome, stranger, alien, John C. Miller, Crisis in Freedom, Julia Kristeva, Strangers to Ourselves

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