An “approximate knowledge”: event transmission in the post-9/11 informational culture


  • Enrica Picarelli


Parole chiave:

informational culture, event, media event, affect, fear


The aim of the essay is to look back at 9/11 from the temporal perspective of 2011 and interpret it as a singularity, that is a moment of destabilization that hit the media sphere, accelerating an already existing shift in communication politics towards affective involvement. The dimension of pathic engagement that the televised images of 9/11 inspired, their becoming a source of collective emotional instability (i.e. a global “culture of fear”), has amplified preexisting modes of communication that relied on the energetic and mobilizing lure of audiovisual transmission. Rather than approaching 9/11 as a metaphysical occurrence, an absolute ‘event’ unencumbered by the territorializing pull of its own geopolitical genealogy, the essay engages with it as a phase boundary whose transformative impact can be sensed in the tactics of mobilization that inform contemporary communication practices.


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Biografia autore

Enrica Picarelli

Enrica Picarelli received her Ph.D. in Cultural and Postcolonial Studies in 2010 at "L'Orientale" University of Naples with a thesis on the reverberations of 9/11 in American science fiction television. Her interests include informational culture to poststructuralist philosophy, affect theory and digital media studies. She has published articles on the TV shows Lost and Battlestar Galactica in The Journal of War and Culture, Studi Culturali and Quaderni d’Altri Tempi. Her essay “The Folding of the American Working Class in Mad Men” is forthcoming in the volume entitled Blue Collar Pop Culture (Praeger Publisher). She has held seminars on precarity, biopolitics and securization and is cofounder of the cultural association Fichu. She is also a member of the Archivio delle Donne interdepartmental center on gender studies at "L'Orientale" University. She is currently working on an essay on frontierism in F. Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth's dystopian novel The Space Merchants to be published in the collection Dystopian Fiction and Film (EBSCO/Salem Press) (forthcoming 2012).




Come citare

Picarelli, Enrica. 2011. «An “approximate knowledge”: Event Transmission in the Post-9/11 Informational Culture». Altre Modernità, settembre, 295-309.



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