Terrorism/Wars on Terror: Falling Towers, Urban Guerrillas, Secret Prisons, and White Guys with Guns

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: History

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Terrorism/War on Terror

Fall 2019

Taught By: Jeremy Varon

Section: A

CRN: 7052

Credits: 4

The attacks of September 11 put terrorism at the center of American politics and culture. Efforts to combat terrorism have entailed multiple wars; limits on civil liberties; global detention, torture, and assassination programs; new weapons like armed drones; and movements resisting all these things. Terrorism persists, though the greatest threat likely now comes from domestic, white nationalists. So too does Islamophobia and the demonization by some politicians and media of “violent, enemy others.” This course takes an historical, theoretical, and critical view of the discourse on terrorism in the United States. It begins with the question of what terrorism is and the difficulty in developing a stable definition. It next considers the varieties of violence called terrorism, from that of Russia’s Narodniks to the 1960s-era Weather Underground. It then engages of “cosmic war” as a frame to understand both religious and secular violence, and the extremism of the far right. The course looks finally at controversial efforts to combat terrorism. Special attention will be paid to the torture prison at Guantanamo, the surveillance systems revealed by Edward Snowden, and drone warfare. The class will feature a visit to the September 11 Memorial Museum and presentations by human rights attorneys and activists combatting state responses to terrorism. Individual weeks will consider works of social theory, philosophy and history; documentary and narrative film; individual groups like ISIS; literary responses to violence; and profiles of anti-War on Terror protests.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: History (LHIS)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 9, 2019 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 17, 2019 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

*Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 3:06pm 2/26/2020 EST

Meeting Info:

Days: Tuesday, Thursday

Times: 2:00pm - 3:40pm

Building: 6 East 16th Street

Room: 912

Date Range: 8/27/2019 - 12/12/2019