This special issue of the Review of International American Studies will consider the rhetoric, history, and culture surrounding the concept of "Homeland Security", recently prominent in the , and will examine its national and international projections. Since September 11, 2001, and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, notions of national and international security re-entered US political discourse and practice in policies which extend to issues such as border protection, health and safety, immigration, citizenship and environment.
In light of the unashamed presence of the politics of security within academic circles--namely in the growing number of teaching programs and research funding promoting "security studies" in both US and European universities--the essays collected in this RIAS issue provide a pressing intellectual response to the current political and cultural climate of fear, exacerbated by the war on terror. These essays explore workings of "security" both as an official discourse and as an increasingly prevailing element in our culture and everyday life.
The issue starts by offering a truly interdisciplinary approach (historical, sociological and cultural perspectives) to widely-disputed concepts such as "security", "terrorism", "war on terror" or "the long war", and their presence within contemporary social and cultural life. The second section of the issue will investigate these concepts within the ongoing debate about literature and 9/11. The essays in this section will explore how, in relation to the attacks of September 11, literature can engage political, social and philosophical concerns which extend far beyond the limited paradigm of trauma theory which has dominated this topic.