Blogging 9/11 and Memory Discourse


  • Maria Cristina Paganoni Università degli Studi di Milano


Parole chiave:

memorialization practices, 9/11 blogs, trauma, war on terror


Marking ‘Time Zero’ in the history of the US and the world, the 9/11 catastrophe provoked an outburst of discourses that found an unprecedented sounding board in the blogosphere, flooded with fragmentary contributions from a global public that mostly witnessed the event mediated by TV coverage. Examining a decade bracketed by those traumatic attacks and Osama bin Laden’s death, we may ask ourselves in what relationship the continuous flow of comments, disclosures and news updates published on 9/11-related blogs stands to the making of the history of the event and what followed it, especially the emergence of the ‘war-on-terror’ rhetoric.
This article highlights a few of the salient discursive and linguistic patterns that recur in the 9/11 narratives that have multiplied online on several dedicated websites and investigates the evolution of 9/11 cultural memory practices, torn between the discourse of the unrepresentable and the imperative to remember. It claims that blogging 9/11, immediately after the attacks and over the years, well illustrates how the logic of memory and its interpretation of the past follow different criteria from history writing. It shows how memorialization practices, dictated by the fear of forgetting the vanishing present, contribute to that excess of memory that lies at the core of the instability and mutual competition of sources retrieved on the Internet and that might ultimately lead to a rethinking of what is the contribution of collective memory to historiography.


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Biografia autore

Maria Cristina Paganoni, Università degli Studi di Milano

Maria Cristina Paganoni, PhD, is a tenured researcher in English Language and Translation at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Milan. Her research interests embrace discourse analysis and social semiotics, with a current primary focus on digital communication in a globalised world. Her recent publications include the following articles and book chapters: “Tsunami and Money: Humanitarian Aid in Media Coverage of the Asian Catastrophe” (2008), “‘The Opinion and the Counter Opinion’: News Framing and Double Voicing on Al Jazeera English” (2009), “Fiction and Cyberspace: Reading Dickens in the Information Age” (2010) and “From Hyde Park to the Planetary Garden: Rhetorics of Development at the London 1851 and Milan 2015 World Exhibitions” (2010). At present she is working on a publication on web-based city branding, which stems from her fascination with urban visions, representational strategies and the role of major promotional events such as international exhibitions in the cultural economy of the global city.




Come citare

Paganoni, Maria Cristina. 2011. «Blogging 9/11 and Memory Discourse». Altre Modernità, settembre, 279-94.



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