Rosalyn Deutsche


    SOON AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, the George W. Bush administration issued several acts and orders authorizing the indefinite detention without charge of suspected terrorists and military trials with no civilian oversight of noncitizens. Like formally declared states of exception—the founding modern instance was Germany’s 1933 restriction of the individual and civil liberties guaranteed by the Weimar Constitution—such exceptional orders claim to protect democracy by suspending its laws, including, in this case, the cardinal principle of American justice: innocent until proven guilty. Subsequently,


    IN OUR FORTY-THREE YEARS of close friendship, I witnessed several transformations in Douglas Crimp, who had the wisdom to change his mind. When we met in the 1970s, he was a precocious Ph.D. student whose essays, most notably “Pictures” (1977, revised 1979), theorized postmodernism as a critique of desire and subjectivity in visual representation, helping to reshape the discourse of contemporary art. In the ’80s, taking what he called his “big swerve,” he became a militant AIDS activist and queer-theory scholar, whom more than a few gay men credit with saving their lives. Toward the end of that


    Since 2011, a multidisciplinary group of researchers based at Goldsmiths, University of London and led by the architect Eyal Weizman has been using innovative technologies to analyze damaged buildings, exhumed skeletons, landscapes, and other material objects, preparing each as corroboration to testify against war crimes and human-rights violations. But such object-witnesses do not speak for themselves. The evidence they give is interpreted, mediated, presented, and debated in human institutions—international criminal courts in

  • Snøhetta, National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion, 2014, New York. Foreground: Michael Arad and Peter Walker and Partners, National September 11 Memorial, 2011. Photo: Jeffrey Tanenhaus/Flickr.

    the National September 11 Memorial Museum

    BEFORE ANALYZING the recently opened National September 11 Memorial Museum, let us remember its prehistory—the memorial proposals that were never considered, the museums that were censored.

    In 2002, for example, sociologist Andrew Ross suggested that the best tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center would be “a new, genuinely mixed-income neighborhood that could capture, in the hustle and bustle of the living, the full sociological variety of those who died on 9/11.” Ross’s idea was eminently reasonable and humane, but, given the nature of the economic forces

  • Men in Space

    WITH THE PUBLICATION OF TWO NEW BOOKS—both by geographers—urban studies has decisively entered “the postmodern debate,” determined, apparently, to win. Indeed, Edward Soja’s Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory (1989) and David Harvey’s The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change (1989) possess a winning combination: they bring together critical discourses about space, culture, and esthetics within the framework of a social theory that purports to explain postmodern life. This formula has been used before—though never so