Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Theatre and Dance

Sub-Department

Theatre

First Advisor

Amy Lehman

Abstract

Since the catastrophic attacks of September 11, 2001, the theatre has spent a great deal of ink examining the emotional and political reactions to the fear that settled over the nation and arguably the world. The shift in the global consciousness in the wake of the attacks was on such a scale that the search for identity that it instigated is akin to that experienced by colonial nations of the past. Borders and occupying armies are no longer necessary to create the cultural and emotional effects of imperial control. In this paper, I set out to examine certain plays that deal directly with 9/11 and its aftermath through a new kind of postcolonial lens born from an abstract colonial force that has emerged in this age of globalization. The playwrights who chose to write explicitly about 9/11 paint a compelling landscape of a world colonized first by the fear instilled by the terrorists, and then the manipulation of that fear by the United States for imperial ends. Reading these plays as artifacts of a postcolonial society, this paper details how post-9/11 drama examines, deconstructs, lampoons and even appropriates the tools of Empire in order to expose the workings of an abstract colony of fear.

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