Space, Trauma, and Memory in Post-9/11 Representations of Cataclysmic New York on Film
The lecture will investigate how the iconographies of historical, “real-life” catastrophe and future-tense disaster overlap and inform each other. The focus will be on the changes in the “spatial rhetoric” of post-9/11 apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic movies, with special emphasis on how the trauma of the September 11 attacks was mapped onto the spatial representations in the films I Am Legend (2007), Cloverfield (2008), and The Avengers (2012).
Vera Benczik received her Ph.D. from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, where she also earned an M.A. in Assyriology. She now serves as Assistant Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of American Studies at Eötvös Loránd. A specialist in science fiction, fantasy literature, and film, Benczik teaches twentieth-century Canadian and American literature, focusing on works by H. G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, Walter Miller, Ursula Le Guin, and Margaret Atwood. Her current publications take up the topic of how science fiction and fantasy narratives depict space before and after apocalypses or dystopias. Thus she focuses on doubled and displaced cities, echoes, cataclysms, urban wastelands, in relation to trauma, nostalgia, and cultural anxiety. At Notre Dame, she will be completing her monograph study of these issues and interacting with scholars across the disciplines whose research intersects with her own.
A limited number of lunches will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Free and open to all.