Literary and Non-literary Responses Towards 9/11: South Asia and Beyond, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Literary and Non-literary Responses Towards 9/11

South Asia and Beyond, 1st Edition

Edited by Nukhbah Taj Langah

Routledge India

194 pages | 21 B/W Illus.

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This book presents a range of analytical responses towards 9/11 through a critical review of literary, non-literary and cultural representations. The contributors examine the ways in which this event has shaped and complicated the relationship between various national and religious identities in contemporary world history. Unlike earlier studies on the topic, this work reconciles both eclectic and pragmatic approaches by analyzing the stereotypes of nationhood and identities while also questioning theoretical concepts in the context of the latest political developments.

The chapters focus on discourses, themes, imagery and symbolism from across fiction and non-fiction, films, art, music, and political, literary and artistic movements. The volume addresses complexities arising within different local contexts (e.g., Hunza and state development); surveys broader frameworks in South Asia (representations of Muslims in Bollywood films); and gauges international impact (U.S. drone attacks in Islamic countries; treatment meted out to Muslims in Europe). It also connects these with relevant theories (e.g., Orientalism) and policy perspectives (e.g., Patriotic Act). The authors further discuss the consequences for minorities and marginalization, cultural relativism vs. ethnocentrism, the clash of civilizations, fundamentalism, Islamization and post-9/11 ‘Islamophobia’.

This book will be useful to scholars and researchers of South Asian literature, Islamic studies, literary criticism, political sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, those in the media and the general reader.


‘This thorough multi-layered collection is a long-needed response to the repercussions emerging from the single most important day of our times. The contributors probe transformative cultural representations and important critical debates ranging from stereotyping Muslim identity to 9/11’s impact on South Asian writers and artists, and how social attitudes have altered perceptions of Muslims in general and of Pakistanis in particular. Many writers focus on Pakistan, a pivotal site whose fate has subsequently become inextricably intertwined with that of Afghanistan’s. Readers will enjoy the varied discussions of literary, media, cultural, and anthropological responses that have occurred in the wake of 9/11.’

Anita M. Weiss, Professor of International Studies, University of Oregon, USA

‘This critical evaluation of identity politics and its pathologies (9/11 is only one symptom) by young scholars from South Asia is urgently necessary. It is the young, after all, who must now think about a humane and just future.’

Alok Bhalla, critic, translator and author of Stories About the Partition of India (1994) and Partition Dialogues (2001)

‘With Literary and Non-Literary Responses Towards 9/11: South Asia and Beyond, Nukhbah Taj Langah has gathered together an important collection of essays that track the trenchant legacies of 9/11. This collection demonstrates that U.S. foreign policy is not the only source for understanding what 9/11 means; literary texts and visual representations, as well as theories and the discourses that are produced, push scholars beyond quantitative analyses to more complex and multi-faceted ones. Langah’s collection rebuilds collapsed conceptual structures that, in their crumbled state, would have us accept words such "Islam", "the West", and "terrorism", for instance, as monoliths rather than as complex, internally diverse, and dynamic ways of referring to human relations.’

Cara Cilano, Professor and Chair, Department of English, Michigan State University, USA

‘A groundbreaking study on how the 9/11 terrorist attacks impacted in the long-term South Asia societies at different levels. The main interest is in de-centering the usual political and geopolitical issues related to the event, to show it ripples through the different cultural productions, and beyond.’

Michel Boivin, Director of the Centre for South Asian Studies, EHESS-CNRS, Paris, France

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of contributors

Forewordby Pervez Amirali Hoodhboy




PART I: Post-9/11 Clash of Civilizations

  1. The Discourse after 9/11: Cultural Relativism vs. Ethnocentrism
  2. Kamal ud Din

  3. Orientalist: Friend or Foe?
  4. Charles Ramsey

    PART II: Post-9/11 Literary Genres vs. Policies

  5. Contrasts and Reflections: Critiques of 9/11 Policies and Reflections in English Literature
  6. Mobeena Shafqat

  7. Why They Hate Us: The Rise of Fundamentalism After 9/11
  8. Debamitra Kar

  9. Islamization and post-9/11 ‘Islamophobia’: ‘The Power of Genre’ – a response from Pakistani writers
  10. Nukhbah Taj Langah

    PART III: Bollywood, Drones and Images

  11. Drones, State of Exception and Truck Art
  12. Muhammad Waqar Azeem

  13. Bollywood Audio-Visual Responses Towards 9/11 Through Kurbaan and My Name Is Khan
  14. Halimah Mohammad Ali

    PART IV: Who else is marginalized?

  15. Un-vanishing Angularities: placing Pakistani Christians in third-millennium Cultural Texts
  16. Madeline Clements

  17. Visualizing Hunza Post-9/11: Indeterminate State Development
  18. Julie Flowerday

  19. Pakistan’s Traditional Muslim Scholars and the West Post-9/11

Mashal Saif



About the Editor

Nukhbah Taj Langah is Associate Professor of English and Dean of Humanities, Forman Christian College University, Lahore, Pakistan. She specializes in contemporary resistance literature from South Asia. Her publications include Poetry as Resistance: Islam and Ethnicity in Postcolonial Pakistan (2011) and Poems: Noshi Gillani (co-translated with Lavinia Greenlaw, 2008). She is a freelance translator, a political activist, and a proponent of interdisciplinary approaches in postcolonial studies through pedagogical approaches and academic research. She was selected as a Charles Wallace Fellow at School of Oriental and African Studies in 2018.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Essays
HISTORY / Social History
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Historical Events
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Politics
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Religion
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / Asian American Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies