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Centre for Geopolitics

Providing historically-grounded solutions to enduring geopolitical problems
The Tragic Critic After 9/11: Reading Today's World

On 27 January Dr. Jennifer Wallace gave a talk titled "The Tragic Critic After 9/11: Reading Today's World" to the Forum on Geopolitics. Bringing the perspective of a literary critic to a topic usually addressed by security specialists and political scientists, Dr. Wallace began her talk by discussing the imagery surrounding 9/11. Through the course of the talk Dr. Wallace challenged how the events of 9/11 were viewed in society, and what the consequences those views subsequently produced. Using the lens of tragedy as a literary construct, Dr. Wallace explained how the events of 9/11 fit into various expected and unexpected narratives - specifically from Aristotle’s Poetics: Anagnorisis (Recognition) and Hamartia (Mistake). Dr. Wallace concluded with an examination of how these narratives push both how we see the modern world but also how the modern world after 9/11 pushed definitions of tragedy. The talk was followed by lively discussion during dinner, chaired by Suzanne Raine and attended by a range of scholars and practitioners approaching these issues from business, literary, academic, and government backgrounds.