László Munteán

Junior Core Fellow
Period of Stay: 
October 2019 - January 2020
Cultural Studies
Radboud University Nijmegen
Project Title: 
The Afterlife of the Ruins of the World Trade Center
Project Abstract: 

Intended as a book project, this study focuses on the ruins of the World Trade Center following their removal from Ground Zero. Building on previous scholarship on the ruins’ radically heterogeneous materiality in which the remains of victims are inextricably mixed with debris and the remains of terrorists, this project explores the ruins’ afterlife in three areas: 1) the post-Ground Zero biography of WTC steel, 2) the exhibition of objects in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and 3) textual and visual representations of the afterlife of the World Trade Center ruins. Rather than anchoring the discussion of the ruins onto the cataclysmic event of 9/11, this project centers on the musealization of relics, the fetishization of WTC steel as sacred material, and the selling of WTC steel as various ‘uses’ of the ruins the examination of which can shed light on political, economic, social, and cultural norms and practices that inform them.