International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies
ISSN: 2028-9324     CODEN: IJIABO     OCLC Number: 828807274     ZDB-ID: 2703985-7
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Politicizing Trauma and Desire in American Cinema: World Trade Center (2006) and The Kingdom (2007)

Volume 9, Issue 4, December 2014, Pages 1506–1520

 Politicizing Trauma and Desire in American Cinema: World Trade Center (2006) and The Kingdom (2007)

Rachid Ait Abdelmouman1

1 Department of English Studies, Lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of Salman bin Abdulaziz University- Alkharj, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Original language: English

Received 30 September 2014

Copyright © 2014 ISSR Journals. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Any understanding of historical trauma today needs to attend to the roles that discourses about and representations of trauma play in struggles over identity and the meanings of the past. The approach this essay has undertaken to investigate is one that makes a reference point of 9/11 as a historical trauma and thereby makes a case for the political significance of violence, terror, civilizational barbarism and colonial desire engendred by this "traumatic" event. This essay focuses mainly on the structural traumatic violence of the image that works in conjunction with the sovereign violence and barbarism of the state and capitalism as a desiring machine. It is in the context of colonialism as a desiring capitalist machine and a group fantasy and empathy that this thesis considers the work of Deleuze, Guattari and Walter Benjamin. As far as the structure is concerned, this essay is split into two sections. The first section aims to investigate the connections between traumatic memory and empathy and between traumatic memory and paranoid investment of social energies as represented in World Trade Center (2006) and The Kingdom (2007). This fascistic investment of desire impedes the utopian dimension of traumatic memory that has the impulse to imagine a better future. The second section examines the violent physical and historical material procedures of American neocolonialism and its ideological operations as represented in The Kingdom (2007). It considers the links between capitalism, colonialism and spatiality as articulated by Deleuze and Guattari.

Author Keywords: Historical trauma, civilisational barbarism, colonial desire, empathy, traumatic memory, capitalism.

How to Cite this Article

Rachid Ait Abdelmouman, “Politicizing Trauma and Desire in American Cinema: World Trade Center (2006) and The Kingdom (2007),” International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 1506–1520, December 2014.