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Strangers at the gate : hospitality in a time of terror Balfour, Lindsay Anne 2015

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  STRANGERS AT THE GATE: HOSPITALITY IN A TIME OF TERROR  by  Lindsay Anne Balfour B.A., The University of British Columbia, 2009 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 2011  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Interdisciplinary Studies)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Okanagan) May 2015  © Lindsay Anne Balfour, 2015  	  	  ii	  Abstract My dissertation offers a reading of hospitality that suggests the encounter with strangers is at the core of cultural production and culture itself in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. My argument for the necessity of hospitality after 9/11 holds in tension the notion of a Law of hospitality – a welcome to whoever or whatever will arrive, however unexpected and however violently – and an attentiveness to a discourse of unconditional welcome that is challenged and even made unbearable by the particular conditions of social and cultural life in a time of terror. I have selected works of cultural memory, film, art and literature that show the breadth of hospitality’s influence across a variety of cultural forms but that offer a depth of insight, historical specificity, and theoretical intensity that only a product created in the aftermath of 9/11 allows. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City is, I argue, best understood as an institution defined by the question of hospitality, particularly as hospitality is engaged or disavowed through an experience with loss. Moreover, I consider how hospitality might function in consideration of the violence perpetuated against bodies marked by discourses of race, gender, and sexuality, as is the case in the 2011 film, Zero Dark Thirty and separately explore how alternative modes of hospitality are enabled by the fluid and dynamic space of the street and the urban art found there. Examining Don DeLillo's 2007 novel Falling Man, I argue for a sustained engagement with hospitality through the figure of organic shrapnel, a metaphor that suggests the possibility of being literally and figuratively embedded by another. The purpose of this project is not to furnish an ideal practice of program of hospitality; rather, it is to point out the diverse and even devastating ways that hospitality appears in ways that remind us that, if hospitality as we understand it is failing, it matters more than ever how we deploy it. 	  	  iii	  Table of Contents Abstract ................................................................................................................................. ii Table of Contents ................................................................................................................. iii List of Illustrations .............................................................................................................. vi Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................ viii Dedication .............................................................................................................................. x Chapter 1 Introduction: Hospitality in a Time of Terror ................................................. 1 1.1 Hospitality’s Enduring Legacies  ............................................................................ 5 1.1.1 Host, Guests and Hostiles: An Etymology of Welcome ................................ 7 1.1.2 A Brief History  .............................................................................................. 9 1.2 Hospitality Since the Enlightenment: Thinking with Kant ................................ 11 1.2.1 Levinas: Hospitality and the Face ................................................................ 14 1.2.2 Derrida: The Impossibility of Hospitality (to Come) ................................... 16 1.2.3 Hospitality Now  ........................................................................................... 20 1.3 Methodology and Objects of Analysis .................................................................. 23 1.3.1 Strangers, Aliens, and the Politics of Difference  ......................................... 25 1.3.2 Hospitality and Violence  ............................................................................. 27 1.4 Structure and Selection of Texts  .......................................................................... 29 Chapter 2 Guests and Ghosts: Spectrality and Hospitality in the September 11 Memorial and Museum .......................................................................................... 36 2.1 Hospitality to Public Memorialization .................................................................. 41 2.2 Strange Hospitalities and the Arrival of the Ghost  ............................................ 49 	  	  iv	  2.2.1 Hospitality in the Memorial Quadrant: Freedom Tower and Reflecting Absence  ....................................................................................................... 51 2.2.2 Reflecting Absence ....................................................................................... 55 2.3 Hospitality Unearthed: Cryptic Remains ............................................................. 58 2.3.1 Foundation Hall and the Hiding of Human Remains ................................... 61 2.3.2 Unlikely Cryptfellows  ................................................................................. 72 2.4 Conclusion: Hospitality and the Ghost of Traumas Past  ................................... 83 Chapter 3 Surprised by Hospitality: Violence and Intimacy in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty ............................................................................................................... 92 3.1 Hospitality and Terror in Television and Film: Context and Questions ........... 95 3.2 Intimate Invasions: Framing Zero Dark Thirty .................................................... 98 3.3 Intimacy and Hospitality in the Black Site Prison ............................................. 104 3.3.1 Historical Hospitality: Violence and Intimacy in the Ottoman Harem ...... 108 3.4 Hospitality and Desire .......................................................................................... 112 3.4.1 Gender and Difference  ............................................................................... 115 3.4.2 Desire and Carnal Hospitality  .................................................................... 125 3.5 Intimate Encounters and Frameworks of Recognition ..................................... 128 3.5.1 Snuff, Desire, and Violence  ....................................................................... 128 3.5.2 Beyond Desire: Hospitality and the Possibility of Violence  ..................... 132 3.6 Redaction and Regimes of Intimacy ................................................................... 137 3.7 Conclusion: Surprised by Hospitality ................................................................. 142 Chapter 4 Taking Hospitality to the Street: Mobile Ethics and the Event of Urban  Art  ..................................................................................................................................... 146 	  	  v	  4.1 Street Art and the Politics of Resistance ............................................................ 149 4.1.1 Urban Art and the Failure of British Hospitality ........................................ 154 4.2 Taking Hospitality to the Streets  ........................................................................ 167 4.2.1 Writing and Re-Writing  ............................................................................. 169 4.2.2 The Anonymity of the Artist  ..................................................................... 175 4.3 Canvases of Hospitality and the Gallery in Urban Space ................................. 178 4.3.1 Hospitable Figures of the Street ................................................................. 181 4.3.2 Implications of Street-side Hospitality ....................................................... 188 4.4 Conclusion: An Alternative Framework for Mobile Hospitality ..................... 193 Chapter 5 Organic Shrapnel: Hospitality, Incorporation, and Infirmity in Don DeLillo’s Falling Man ........................................................................................... 201 5.1 The 9/11 Novel: Criticism and Contexts ............................................................. 205 5.2 DeLillo, Falling Man and the Critique of Representation ................................ 209 5.3 Falling Man and Organic Shrapnel .................................................................... 216 5.4 Strangers Within: Falling Man’s Trail of Splintered Selves ............................ 222 5.4.1 “Maybe he was a terrorist but he was one of ours”: Martin/Ernst ............. 222 5.4.2 “Today, again, the world narrative belongs to terrorists”: Hammad .......... 230 5.4.3 “Only half there”: Keith ............................................................................. 238 5.4.4 “Diminishing Remains”: Lianne ................................................................ 246 5.5 American Identity and Autoimmunity ............................................................... 255 5.6 Falling Man and Autoimmunity: Hospitality Gone Viral ................................ 259 Chapter 6 Conclusion: Hospitality and The Gates ........................................................ 265 Bibliography ...................................................................................................................... 275 	  	  vi	  List of Illustrations Illustration 4.1. Banksy. Dustbin Surveillance. Brick Lane, London. Photo Credit: Gareth. Flickr Creative Commons. “Banksy-bin.” 28 October 2005 .................................. 154 Illustration 4.2. David Shillinglaw. Untitled. Bacon Street, off Brick Lane, London. Photo Credit: Somethingstarted-crazy. Flickr Creative Commons. “David Shillinglaw in East #london.” 17 July 2012 ................................................................................... 156 Illustration 4.3 Stik. Untitled. Brick Lane, London. Image credit: Socarra. “Stik.” Flickr Creative Commons. 17 October 2014 ..................................................................... 158 Illustration 4.4 Ben Slow. Untitled. April 2012. Hanbury Street, off Brick Lane, London. Photo credit: MsSaraKelly. “Hatred by Ben Slow.” Flickr Creative Commons. 2 August 2012 ............................................................................................................ 169 Illustration 4.5 Mear One. The New World Order is the Enemy of Humanity. September 2012. Hanbury Street, London. Photo credit: Duncan C. “The New World Order is the Enemy of Humanity.” Flickr Creative Commons. 15 September 2012 ........... 169 Illustration 4.6 Alex Diaz. Untitled. July 2013. Hanbury Street, London. Photo credit: Boring Lovechild. “Hanbury Street Art.” Flickr Creative Commons. 15 August 2013 ........................................................................................................................ 170 Illustration 4.7 Bom K and Liliwen. Untitled. November 2012. Hanbury Street, London. Photo credit: Boring Lovechild. “Hanbury Street Art.” Flickr Creative Commons. 26 January 2013 ...................................................................................................... 170 Illustration 4.8 Stik. “Art Thief.” Pitfield Street, London. Photo Credit: Duncan C. “Stik Street Art. Flickr Creative Commons. 18 November 2010 .................................... 184 	  	  vii	  Illustration 4.9 Stik. “Art Thief.” Pitfield Street, London. Photo credit: Martin Deutsch. “Stik.” Flickr Creative Commons. 19 March 2012 ................................................ 184 Illustration 4.10 Stik. “Untitled”. Scriven Street, London. Photo credit: Socarra. “Stik Hoist.” Flickr Creative Commons. 28 June 2014 ................................................... 185                     	  	  viii	  Acknowledgements I wish to express deep and heartfelt gratitude to my supervisor, Dr. George Grinnell, for his extraordinary generosity, attention, wisdom, and care towards me and my dissertation. George, your guidance, friendship and intellectual rigour are qualities I will continue to aspire to, and working with you has been, in itself, a study in hospitality. I am further grateful for the time, friendship and insights of my committee – Dr. Janet Macarthur, Dr. Anderson Araujo, and Dr. Jennifer Gustar. Jenn, I will forever be learning from you and am so thankful for your support in all things. The entire Critical Studies department has contributed greatly to both my research and teaching, from Teaching and Research Assistantships, to conference and research funding, to the irreplaceable offerings of so many faculty members including (among many more): Dr. Lisa Grekul, Dr. Ruthann Lee and, in particular, Dr. David Jefferess, whose supervision during my Master’s Thesis equipped me better than I could have hoped for my doctoral studies. I am grateful, especially, for the funding support of the Faculty of Critical and Creative Studies – whose Graduate Student Travel Grant enabled me to travel to the 9/11 Museum in New York City to undertake research for this dissertation – and to the College of Graduate Studies for generous and supportive fellowship funding and, most recently, the Dean’s Thesis Award. In addition, I am extraordinarily appreciative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for their support of this project. Thank you also to the members of my small but encouraging cohort – my office mates (some of you for four years) and the members of the IGS 630 teaching community. I reserve special admiration for Jannik Eikenaar, whose friendship and dedication I will draw upon long after the PhD ends, and for Maegan Merrifield whose support of my project, my family, and my self is all-encompassing. Maegan, you have taught me, more than anyone, 	  	  ix	  the balance of work, life, and spirit, and your intelligence and friendship I will treasure always. None of this would be possible without the love, patience and support of my family. To my sister, Chelsea, and my siblings-in-law, you have believed in me wholeheartedly and, along with the most amazing set of grandparents – Joe, Lois, Charlotte, Doug, and Lisa – have provided more food, childcare, time, and encouragement than I could ever deserve or repay. Finally, to my husband Dave – who has been in front, beside, and behind me every step – and our four incredible children, I am so privileged and proud to come home to you every day. Thank you for seeing me through.                 	  	  x	  Dedication This dissertation is dedicated to my children, two of whom came into the world over the course of this project. Emma, Annie, Aidan, and Cordelia, you have taught me patience, balance and perspective, and you have showed me much grace. There is no praise higher than yours.  	  	  1	  Chapter 1 Introduction: Hospitality in a Time of Terror In December 1999, on the fringes of Central Park in Manhattan, names were etched into stone at each of the park’s twenty entrances, names that were chosen in 1862, but never used beyond the old and yellowed maps of the park. The original architects of the park, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, resisted the idea of gates entirely. Olmstead argued that ''an iron railing always means thieves outside or bedlam inside,” while Vaux imagined “how fine it would be to have no gates” (qtd. in Chace). The names given to the gates reflect those who would have used the park as a respite from hectic metropolitan life in the late 19th century; they are as charming as one might expect and speak to New York’s history of innovation and industry – Children’s Gate, Miner’s Gate, Mariner’s Gate, and Scholar’s Gate, to name a few. One of the most prominent gates is the large, wrought iron entrance to Central Park’s Conservatory garden. Located at 106th Street and 5th Avenue, Vanderbilt Gate was originally constructed in France for the home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II (“Vanderbilt”) – whose mansion at 5th Avenue and 58th Street is the current home of the upscale Bergdorf Goodman department store on the Upper East Side. Yet, although Vanderbilt gate is striking in stature and design, there is another entrance to Central Park that I wish to draw attention to. Directly through the park, also on 106th Street but on the Upper West Side, is a gate with far less notoriety and scale: Stranger’s Gate. It is a gate that is compelling in name, design, and location. For instance, it directly faces another historic architectural landmark – a castle like structure that was originally built and dedicated to cancer treatment (regarded at the time as a contagious disease), that eventually became a symbol of “Manhattan decline” due to its reputation as a “death trap” and a haven for addicts and the homeless (Beger). While the structure – known as “455 Central Park West” – was eventually refurbished in late 2002, it has never shaken its status as one of 	  	  2	  Manhattan’s most haunted buildings where ghosts still seem to linger in the gothic style architecture (Berger). Directly across the street from this castle-like structure – that more readily signifies a haunted house than a hospital, and carries a history of sheltering the downtrodden, the rejected, and the infirm – the facing “Stranger’s Gate” entrance to Central Park is curiously named and its proximity to 455 Central Park West suggests that while it is a gate for all strangers, some enter under stranger conditions than others. At first glance, Stranger’s Gate appears as most of the Central Park gates do; a low and unobtrusive wall, adjacent to – but not blocking – the entrance, with its name etched into sandstone. A stairway provides access to the park, as visitors ascend the steps that wind through trees and rock that obscure the park itself from the street. It is a gate that suggests strangeness not only by its name but by its structure and location as well, and it stands apart from the rest of Central Park’s entrances in its vague yet evocative homage to New York’s history of immigration and a fear of strangers; moreover, it positions ghosts, outsiders, and the infirm as central to Manhattan’s history and identity. All who enter here, the gate seems to suggest, are strangers yet, at the same time, the use of possessive naming offers the usually disposed stranger a home among the miners, scholars and mariners who give the other gates their names. Stranger’s Gate may, at first, seem like a bastion of inhospitality, as it seems to exclude those who may already consider New York and Central Park their home. It ignores residency and welcomes residents only as strangers. Yet, at the same time – and for reasons that will soon become clear – it is precisely because the gate welcomes strangers (and welcomes them only as strangers) that it becomes such a powerful figure for hospitality – a hospitality that cannot exist without the stranger. Stranger’s Gate speaks to a number of questions, concerns, and problems that are deeply embedded in what I term a post-9/11 cultural archive. As a physical gate, it conjures 	  	  3	  a multitude of images and interpretations: a space of admission and exchange; the impossibility of entry for certain people; the designation of strangeness as distinct from other, more familiar, categories of naming and recognition; the political realities of immigration and tourism in a city that both compels and repels foreigners; the ways in which a gate signifies something particular and even foreboding in an otherwise natural setting; the physical and temporal passing through on one’s way to, or back from, elsewhere; and the delimiting of private space from public, and individual from community. The gate also signifies both a spatial and temporal cordoning off, passing through or framing; it both contains and exposes. It is a barrier but one potentially overcome by simply passing around, over or, in this particular case, walking straight past. Theoretically, the gate offers the image and impasse of a perpetual threshold, at once cultural, temporal, institutional and methodological. Ultimately, however, Stranger’s Gate speaks to a deep preoccupation with a philosophy of hospitality and living with others. It is a preoccupation that seems more relevant than ever – its aporias greater and, as I will explore, its contradictions all the more devastating.  I want to suggest that the encounter with strangers or strangeness is at the core of cultural production and, indeed, culture itself in the aftermath of terrorist attack and in an era that is often conceptualized as “after 9/11”. The term – “after 9/11” – might seem to suggest a specific temporal and thematic gateway; however, the effects of 9/11 reach back before September 11, 2001, and have also prompted cultural responses that may not immediately appear to have anything to do with the event at all. “After 9/11,” then, often seems to suggest a general era in which the world – or, at the very least, the dominant, American conception of the world – changed, rather than a specific historical period. The task of containing 9/11 within temporal, aesthetic, or thematic frameworks is nearly 	  	  4	  impossible as the event itself has both prompted entirely new ways of understanding the world and living with others, as well as re-ignited older conversations surrounding immigration, the treatment of prisoners, the decline of American hegemony and the ethics of producing art after atrocity. The sheer volume of cultural texts that gesture in even the smallest ways to 9/11 – and in ways as simple and brief as the ever-ubiquitous New York skyline establishing shot that has dominated television and movies since the Twin Towers were built and continues to do so in their absence – raise a question of the archive: is “post-9/11” simply a placeholder for every cultural artifact produced since September 11, 2001? Conversely, can there be a cultural product that represents terrorism, war, New York City, George Bush, Iraq, Afghanistan, and an infinite number of related subjects, without being subsumed by the post-9/11 label? Rather than address the question of what, or even when, “post-9/11” culture is, I am interested in the ways in which the archive, however vast and indefinable, reignites a different debate – the debate over hospitality and living with others in a time of terror. In other words, what does the post-9/11 cultural archive suggest about the ways we engage or disengage in the lives of others, and how might these texts and artifacts bring us closer to an understanding of both the possibilities and dangers of hospitality now? Looking at the aspects of culture produced in response to 9/11 and the “gates” to strangeness within its texts allows me to think the question of hospitality again, and think it differently when tethered to a particular cultural moment and momentum – the implications of which reach back across history and forward into an undeterminable future. While attending to the work of hospitality outside the distinct yet indefinable temporal frame of “post-9/11” cultural production, this project interrogates the possibilities and limits of hospitality now – in an era of racial profiling, terror alert and immigration reform.  How, 	  	  5	  for example, are the tensions between host and guest, selves and others, and conditional and unconditional structures of hospitality exacerbated and destabilized by the complex social bonds formed and severed by an event like 9/11? This question, among many others, is posed to a number of cultural texts over the course of this study; yet, while the culture produced in response to 9/11 necessitates crucial new questions and interrogations of a philosophy of welcome, hospitality has – as I will show – never been a stable, uncontested, or purely altruistic figure. What hospitality is is a intricate structure of ethics, violence, promise, threat, and impossibility that has been worked through, tested, and struggled over by thinkers such as Immanuel Kant, Emile Beneviste, Emmanuel Levinas, and, later, Jacques Derrida and Richard Kearney, among others, all of whom provide patient and thorough articulations of hospitality’s complexity and to whom this study is greatly indebted.   1.1 Hospitality’s Enduring Legacies We think we know what hospitality is – we refer to it using common language and we can recognize it by ubiquitous rituals of welcome and invitation, sheltering and protection, asylum and immigration. We also know what it is not – evidenced by the denial of refuge to asylum seekers and by the mistreatment of immigrants and guests around the globe. We also recognize its figures – doors and thresholds, entrances, gates, and stoops. These figures, we can “comprehend” because, in Derrida’s words:  [T]hey belong to the current lexicon or the common semantics of hospitality, of all precomprehension of what “hospitality” is and means, namely, to “welcome,” “accept,” “invite,” “receive,” “bid” someone welcome “to one’s home,” where, in one’s own home, one is master of the household, master of the city, or master of 	  	  6	  the nation, the language, or the state, places from which one bids the other welcome (but what is a “welcome”?) and grants him a kind of right of asylum by authorizing him to cross a threshold that would be a threshold…a threshold that is determinable because it is self-identical and indivisible, a threshold the line of which can be traced. (“Hostipitality [sic]” 6) As Derrida infers, we have a shared vocabulary and sense of the laws of hospitality as they unfold in the political and juridical sphere, and even in our visual imagination. The rhetoric of invitation and reception, the gifting of food and drink, and the opening of doors to one’s home or nation – these are the images of hospitality enshrined predominantly in a rhetoric of etiquette and entertainment. Even, however, as these rituals are bound in relations of exchange, reciprocity, and (often conspicuous) consumption, surely they still provide a framework by which we can identify ethical relations between hosts and guests. Why then does Derrida insist (emphatically and at length) “we do not know what hospitality is” (“Hostipitality” 7). Could it be he is referencing an event of hospitality that we have yet to (and may not ever) see? Or, are the meanings of hospitality across time and cultural locations too diffuse to be of any stable and prescriptive philosophical or ethical use? In order to address these questions, it is crucial to return to hospitality’s conceptual, historical, and etymological origins, not only to fully explore the ways in which the relations between hosts and guests, strangers and selves, matter more than ever in the context of contemporary political cosmopolitanism, but also to consider hospitality’s future as well. Indeed, hospitality is ubiquitous but also singularly historical, and there is something in this moment – an era of both terror and promise – that attends to global universality and temporal and spatial specificity while retaining hospitality’s internal complexities that cannot (and must not) be diminished. 	  	  7	   1.1.1 Hosts, Guests and Hostiles: An Etymology of Welcome One need not look too far to discover why hospitality is such a contested, unstable, and even contradictory concept – it is found in the word itself. The most conventional philosophical1 understandings of the term are likely aligned with the definition provided by the Oxford English Dictionary, in which hospitality - hospitalité in French and, in Latin, hospitālitās – is described as “the act or practice of being hospitable; the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers, with liberality and goodwill” (“Hospitality”). “Hospitality” as it is used in this sense, however, glosses over a series of complexities that must be accounted for, and, in what follows, I will be testing a theory of hospitality over a series of unsteady cultural topographies. The word xenia, of course, in Greek – as well as its Latin counterpart, hospitium – refers to the rituals of hospitality and is translated as “guest friendship” (“Friendship, Ritualized”). Significantly, such friendships were not configured around common languages, familial affinities and the use of shared space or property. Rather, the Homeric epics, upon which this lexicography is based, show us that xenos is most often characterized as a “friend from abroad” (“Friendship, Ritualized”) and is evident in both classical philosophy and literature. Hospitality itself is rooted in the Latin, hospes, which the linguist Emile Beneviste divides into hostis and potis. Potis represents “the power exercised by the master of house” while hostis “means the stranger who has equal rights before it means ‘enemy’” (Still, Enlightenment 5). Curiously, hostis in 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  1 There are, of course, even more conventional and popular understandings of hospitality made more ubiquitous by the rapid globalization and expansion of travel, tourism and their associated industries of commercial airlines, hotels, and retail and culinary services.  While this study is not about the hospitality industry, that is not to say that the provision of safe passage, shelter, and food are not crucial ports through which a philosophical or ethical hospitality is alternately lived and disavowed. Conrad Lashley and Alison J. Morrison’s edited collection, In Search of Hospitality: Theoretical Perspectives and Debates is a comprehensive intersection of both commercial and philosophical expressions of hospitality, as covers everything from ethical and anthropological theory to hospitality management in the tourism sector (Boston: Butterworth Henemann, 2000). 	  	  8	  Latin finds its equivalent gasts in pre-Germanic Gothic. The meaning of gasts, however, is ‘guest’, whereas the Latin hostis translates as ‘enemy’. According to Beneviste, “to explain the connexion between ‘guest’ and ‘enemy’ it is usually supposed that both derived their meaning from ‘stranger’” (75).  The seeming opposition of language in the above examples demonstrates what is, for David Simpson, an interpretation of the uncanny – “what is unheimlich is also, at the same time, heimlich” (Romanticism 55). Simpson also cites Derrida’s interest in the translations of xenos (Greek) and hôte (French) which designate “either host or guest or both at once, so that those who appear to differ – one at home and the other coming to the house and requesting hospitality – are bound together etymologically as codependent and perhaps even interchangeable: every host is a guest in the making, every stranger is familiar” (Simpson, Romanticism 55). Derrida raises the challenges of thinking through a word that seems to cancel its own purpose. As he notes, the word, “hospitality, has a “troubled and troubling origin, a word which carries its own contradiction incorporated into it, a Latin word which allows itself to be parasitized by its opposite, “hostility,” the undesirable guest [hôte] which it harbors as the self-contradiction in its own body” (Derrida, “Hostipitality” 3). Indeed, the corporeal resonance with which Derrida attends to hospitality’s internal contradictions will be important when it comes to interrogating the ways in which contemporary culture raises some of the most pressing questions about living with others, not in the larger social and political area, but in the intimate context of the body. Moreover, the etymological complexity of hospitality is crucial in unpacking the ways in which it engages with the figure of the stranger, particularly as the question of the stranger, as Kearney and Semonovitch suggest, always involves “a wager between hospitality and hostility” (5) and is – along with the definitions of the foreigner, self, other, alien, guest, and host – always changing and evading 	  	  9	  confinement.   1.1.2 A Brief History Returning to Stranger’s Gate and its enduring insistence on discourses of arrival and welcome, what the original naming of Central Park’s gates in 1862 – and their etching into stone in 1999 – should tell us, is that the figure of the stranger has neither subsided nor suddenly appeared. Hospitality, likewise, is a similarly resilient concept. According to Judith Still, “our conviction of [hospitality’s] universality is indeed critical to our understanding of its historical structure: hospitality is traditionally defined as a universal (even the universal) human virtue” (“Figures” 194). Louis Chevalier de Jaucourt describes various expression of hospitality practiced by a number of cultures including Abrahamic, Jewish, Greek, Roman, Persian, and Middle Eastern (“Hospitalitié”). Universality, in this sense, need not suggest equivalency – a rendering of all figures, eras and cultures of hospitality as similar – rather, what Still points to is the breadth and durability of a concept whose roots can be philosophically traced back as far as Ancient Greece2, from where we get our modern day concept of xenophobia. Both The Iliad and The Odyssey are heavily invested in figures of hospitality, in both conditional and more absolute forms. Travel and welcoming strangers into the home are common themes in Homer’s work, as are moments of violence and hostage-taking, hosts abusing their position, hostiles posing as guests, departures and homecomings, and doorways and thresholds. The notion of hospitality is raised almost immediately in The Odyssey when, in Book I, the goddess Athene arrives in 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  2 Louis Chevalier de Jaucourt, in his entry on “Hospitalitié” for Diderot’s Enclyclopédie, traces this history of hospitality back further still, to the Abraham of Genesis, who “practiced noble beneficence towards foreigners” (“Hospitalitié”). See also Genesis 18. 	  	  10	  Ithaca where Telemachus “thought it blame in his heart that a stranger should stand long at the gates” and so speaks “[h]ail, stranger, with us thou shalt be kindly entreated, and thereafter, when thou hast tasted meat, thou shalt tell us that whereof thou hast need’” (Homer 4-5). This scene is described by Steve Reece as a theoxeny – a case of a god appearing as a stranger who “comes to earth to test the hospitality of mortals” (10). Elements of hospitality are present in Christian tradition as well – and its practice could be thought of as involuntary and unwilled as it is often espoused as a command, not unlike the popular directive to love one’s neighbor. According to Father Pierre-Francois De Béthune, Prior of the Monastery of Clerlande, who takes the notion of the stranger into the realm of the divine, “[t]he stranger and the guest have a right to Sanctuary and are considered directly connected to God, who is present in them” (1). The Bible, in particular, issues a number of commands with regard to hospitality, from the offering of food and shelter to guests in the Old Testament3 to the riskier forms of hospitality espoused by the New Testament that focus on welcoming angels, strangers, and enemies.4 Prayer and salvation are infused with the language of hospitality; the act of receiving Christ or inviting God to intervene, protect, admonish or encourage and the notion of a divine Other is one that has proved its durability in more contemporary philosophy as well, particularly in the work of Emmanuel Levinas, for whom “the practice of hospitality necessitates an embrace of a fraternalistic, monotheistic and messianic political vision” (Gaulthier 160). Yet hospitality to the divine Other is complicated and, as a name through which “we are driven to extreme” and a “force that interrupts,” a name that “solicits us and visits itself upon us, like 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  3 See, for example, 2 Kings 4:8, Judges 19:20, and Job 31:32. 4 Hebrews 13:2, Romans 12:20, 1 Timothy 5:10 are notable examples.   	  	  11	  an uninvited stranger knocking on our door,” the name of God is, for John Caputo “trouble” (83-84). Leaving aside Western Classical history, the expression of hospitality can also be traced through cultures of the Middle East. Judith Still works through this history using examples of both a Persian hospitality evolving out of the Abrahamic tradition that not only covers European travellers received as guests in the 18th century Persian empire but also, reciprocally, includes examples of Europeans serving Persian guests – relations that were, to be sure, characterized by a spectrum of “good” (appreciative and reciprocal) and “bad” (Orientalist and demanding) guests and hosts (Enlightenment 138-145). Still also details the experience of hospitality in the Ottoman Empire, particularly the space of the harem, which I will address at length in Chapter Three. Hospitality in Turkey is often represented by “either simple nomadic and rural practices or luxurious entertainment,” alternating figures that Still refers to as “bipolar” (“Figures” 197). Still also draws further attention to the example of the nomadic caravanserai – a roadside inn meant to welcome [all] travellers in the midst of a journey “with little regard for rank or wealth” (“Figures” 197). The caravanserai is an etymological reference to both notions of “travellers” and “returners” (Still, “Figures” 198) that operates outside in a nomadic capacity but one never far from an imaginative homeland, and it is a particularly useful illustration for thinking about what I am trying to trace here – that is, the historical, etymological, and philosophical complexity of hospitality.  1.2 Hospitality Since the Enlightenment: Thinking with Kant Contemporary western thinking about hospitality can be traced back to Immanuel Kant and his influential Third Definitive Article in Toward Perpetual Peace (1795). For Kant, hospitality is a question of right and not of philanthropy. Rights, however, are never 	  	  12	  unlimited nor are they absolute. Surely, hospitality is universal and “means the right of an alien not to be treated as an enemy upon his arrival in another’s country” (Kant 15). However, there is somewhat of a paradox in Kant’s original formulation, for his hospitality is one premised on “behave[ing] peaceably” (Kant 15) and, thus, Kant’s cosmopolitan right is limited to the visitor who does not yet become a guest – it is a right to temporary visitation but only a right to request permanent residence (itself an assumption that all guests can ask for welcome or asylum, in so far as asking assumes a particularly agency and power of voice that not all guests have upon arrival, if ever). The earth is open to travel and exploration, as Kant sees it, and he frames his version of hospitable welcome in explicit contrast to those who exploit and displace those who already occupy the land through projects of colonial and economic expansion. In this way, the definition of hospitality in Perpetual Peace is very much tethered to the social and historical milieu in which Kant was writing. Indeed, as Still points out, it is important “to remember the context of a period of exploration in the New World where Europeans could be dangerous guests more than hosts” (Enlightenment 12). While usefully drawing us back to Kant’s frame of reference, Still also points us to an Enlightenment hospitality that is contingent rather than categorical. Significantly, Kant’s hospitality is not unconditional – if the would-be guest is not harmed by the denial of entry, the host is under no obligation to accept him. In Kant’s words, “if it can be done without destroying him, he can be turned away” (15). For Simpson, Kant’s conditions of universal hospitality pose significant limitations to the ethics of open and absolute welcome. It goes beyond the formalities of obligation and the meeting of basic needs. As Simpson claims, however, Kantian hospitality is certainly “not a guest-host relation, with its more or less elaborate rituals, but a species-right of the most pared down kind” yet it requires little more than “the foundation for a commercial relationship” 	  	  13	  (Romanticism 38). Strangers, therefore, particularly from foreign lands, can expect to visit freely but cannot claim to be a guest protected under the laws of absolute welcome. According to Still, Kant’s hospitality is “both too universal and not universal enough” (Enlightenment 2), yet, while his formulation of hospitality is certainly not unconditional, Kant also reveals some crucial complexities in the figure of hospitality, complexities which can be unsettling, violent and even sinister. Indeed, Kant’s entire treatise begins with his musings on the Dutch Innkeeper’s sign, one that contains the image of a graveyard at the same time as it advertises “Perpetual Peace” (Kant 1). If perpetual peace is, truly, the desired outcome of hospitable relations between states and individuals, then what Kant seems to suggest is that the goal of hospitality is not, in fact, lively relations but, rather, death. Kant seems to gesture, beyond this, towards two figures of hospitality that are otherwise absent in his largely political theory. The first, a sign on an inn which presumably collects money in exchange for welcome, suggests there can be no hospitality without reciprocity and commerce – yet pure hospitality fails once subsumed into rituals of exchange and value. However, it also reaches towards a conception of hospitality in which the purest and most unconditional welcome does not only inadvertently result in death; it must lead to death or it is not pure, nor perpetual. Indeed, if absolute hospitality is an openness to whoever or whatever arrives, then included in that is a hospitality even to the one who comes to kill. Hospitality, in fact, must be offered precisely on this basis – to the “worst” of what the guest may bring, including death – or there is no hospitality at all. Yet if Kant’s suggestion of death hints at a possible outcome of hospitality, it contrasts the thinking of Emmanuel Levinas who, while attending to the possibility of violence in all hospitable relations, suggests that hospitality exists prior to politics and is either a condition or an outcome of peace. 	  	  14	  1.2.1 Levinas: Hospitality and the Face While Kant’s formulation of hospitality is political and juridical, Emmanuel Levinas offers a more abstract conceptualization5 – one that both responds to Kantian ethics but also precipitates more contemporary philosophies of hospitality, particularly those espoused by Jacques Derrida and Richard Kearney. For Levinas, ethics are premised on an encounter with the face of the other and cannot be subsumed by logic. Before any peace process, before the refugee arrives seeking shelter, before an invitation is ever extended, there is the face. The face of the other, as conceptualized by Levinas, is crucial to his deployment of hospitality – a term he rarely uses but one that nonetheless dominates his work through his theorization of an ethics of welcome. The face is not a literal human face but, rather, the figure Levinas uses to signify absolute and irreducible alterity, and the figure through which the Other makes the demand “do not kill.” The face is crucial to Levinas’ concept of a stranger whose arrival displaces the primacy of the self. As a rhetorical figure through which otherness is apprehended, the face “defies comprehension” and “shocks” but also “awakens and teaches” (Bloechl 235). In speaking of the arrival of the face of the other, Levinas is speaking about the event “in which the subject might truly welcome the Other without doing violence to her otherness” (Bloechl 236). Hospitality, in other words, is not an outcome of welcome or invitation, rather, is “pre-originary” (Still, Enlightenment 262). Any relation to the other, in other words – before determination of intent, origin, or assessment of guilt or innocence – demands an infinite responsibility that is also a phenomenological imperative. Indeed, as Bloechl explains, “being in the world is 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  5 It is also important to note that hospitality, for Levinas, is profoundly religious. As Jeffrey Bloechl notes, the Levinasian sense of “being in the world is not only being for the other person, but also – and most deeply – being toward God” (234).  	  	  15	  always and already being in a relation with other people” (234). Moreover, an ethics of welcome is one that does not preserve or protect the stability of the self. Ethics, on the contrary, is a radical vulnerability to the other, “a being put into question by the alterity of the other. It is a pre-original not resting on oneself, the restlessness of someone persecuted…to the point of substitution for others and suffering both from the effect of persecution and from the persecuting itself” (Levinas, Otherwise 75). Again, this pre-originary exposure establishes itself before the scene of encounter. As Simpson echoes, in his reading of Levinas, the self is “always and a priori in a state of substitution in and for the other, a hostage, an entity already including the stranger and bearing responsibility for all strangers, in a moment beyond and before all sentiments about alienation and reconciliation” (Romanticism 5). As Simpson infers, Levinasian ethics blur the distinction between host and guest, the strange and the familiar, and alter the limits of not only hospitality, but ontology itself, by positing as stranger who exists – and demands consideration – prior to the self, effectively framing the self as hostage rather than host. Important, however, for Levinas, is that this other – this a priori stranger who precedes the phenomenological scene of address – retains his or her alterity. The face is that which is singularly other and must remain other in order for hospitable relations to be established. “The strangeness of the Other,” Levinas notes, is “irreducible to the I” (Totality 43). Ethics, then, is an “invitation to allow the Stranger to remain strange” (Kearney and Semonovitch 10). Such a conception of hospitality to the other complicates the Kantian notion of a universal right to hospitality that is extended, not a priori, but a posteriori – in response and as a condition of world citizenship and cosmopolitan justice. As theorized by Levinas, the face-to-face encounter is not the encounter with the neighbor or stately visitor with shared notions of language, culture, trade, and travel, but, rather, “my relation to any 	  	  16	  other person, however alien, in all his or her inability to be known” (Miller 37). Indeed, it is precisely by way of this unknowable, unfamiliar and irreducible alterity that the other comes to demand ethics. In Levinas’ own words, “[t]he being that presents himself in the face comes from a dimension of height, a dimension of transcendence whereby he can present himself as a stranger without opposing me as obstacle or enemy…The Other who dominates me in his transcendence is thus the stranger, the widow, and the orphan, to whom I am obligated” (Totality 215). It is an obligation that remains firm even in the (literal) face of violence and the demand for hospitality issued by the face of the other presupposes the violence that other might bring. It suggests, to borrow from Derrida’s lengthy eulogy of Levinas, “that war, hostility, even murder, still presuppose and thus always manifest this original welcoming that is openness to the face” (Derrida, Adieu 90). It is this possibility of violence – this extension of ethics from self to other even in the face of the destruction of self – that defines a Levinasian ethics of welcome, a thesis that Still finds far “more frightening” than Kant’s (Enlightenment 262-263).   1.2.2 Derrida: The Impossibility of Hospitality (to Come) As Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas illustrates, Levinasian ethics – indeed, Levinasian hospitality, even though it is not framed as such – is highly influential for Derrida’s own work. What Levinas posits as an ethics of the face, or the epiphany of the face-to-face encounter, Derrida reads as a constant and deep preoccupation with hospitality. He argues in Adieu “although the word is neither frequently used nor emphasized within it, Totality and Infinity bequeaths to us an immense treatise of hospitality” (21). Here Derrida highlights not only the presence of the subject of hospitality in Levinas’ work but also its practice. Totality and Infinity, in other words is concerned with a notion of hospitality but 	  	  17	  is, in itself, a hospitable act – a moment of hospitable thinking and risk. For Derrida, Levinas’ work “opens itself to the infinity of the other, an infinity that, as other, in some sense precedes it, the welcoming of the other will already be a response: the yes to the other will already be responding to the welcoming of the other, to the yes of the other” (Adieu 23). Levinas writes, then, with a “yes” to the other, a “yes” that is issued even before the writing begins. Like Levinas, Derrida positions the basis of hospitality at this scene of address, an utterance that precludes any context, naming, language, or condition.  Derrida’s own writings on hospitality are extensive – particularly his later work; indeed, hospitality, for Derrida, is indistinguishable from culture and even ethics itself:  Hospitality is culture itself and not simply one ethic among others. Insofar as it has to do with the ethos, that is, the residence, one’s home, the familiar place of dwelling, inasmuch as it is a manner of being there, the manner in which we relate to ourselves and to others, to others as our own or as foreigners, ethics is hospitality; ethics is so thoroughly coextensive with the experience of hospitality. (On Cosmopolitanism 16-17) Hospitality is deeply connected to culture itself; its reach is definitive, if not always apparent and it is part of all social, cultural, and political life in one form or another. There is no culture or social relation devoid of the influence of hospitality or, in Derrida’s words, “Toutes les éthiques de l'hospitalité ne sont pas les mêmes sans doute, mais il n'y a pas de culture ni de lien social dsans un principe d'hospitalité” (qtd. in Dhombres). Perhaps Derrida’s most significant contribution to the philosophy of hospitality – the tensions of which this dissertation explores at length – is the distinction between unconditional hospitality, which is never possible, and a hospitality that can only ever arrive with conditions attached. He terms these the Law of hospitality and the laws (plural) of 	  	  18	  hospitality, respectively. The relationship between the two, however, is not one of negation. Indeed, any measure of practical hospitality can only be offered because it is extended in the shadow of its idealized and impossible version. Even in the denial of hospitality to others “one sees a glimpse of an alternative absolute, an unconditional hospitality fended off by conditional hospitality” (Deutscher 69). As an absolute and unconditional Law, hospitality is a yes to whoever or whatever arrives. In Derrida’s words: “Let us say yes to who or what turns up, before any determination, before any anticipation, before any identification, before an unexpected visitor, whether or not the new arrival is the citizen of another country, a human, animal, or divine creature, a living or dead thing, male or female” (Of Hospitality 77). Here, Derrida distinguishes himself from Kant by framing hospitality as an event that is more than a reciprocal relation of protection and commerce and one that can never be withheld or revoked. Derrida clarifies this assertion a number of time in Of Hospitality and elsewhere that “absolute hospitality requires that I open up my home and that I give not only give to the foreigner, but to the absolute, unknown, anonymous other, and that I give place to them, that I let them come, that I let them arrive, and take place in the place I offer them, without asking of them either reciprocity (entering into a pact) or even their names” (Of Hospitality 25). Moreover, unlike Kant’s universal hospitality to guests, Derrida speaks here of the arrivant who is not an invader, colonizer or neighbor – who is not even a guest. This arrival “surprises the host – who is not yet a host or inviting power – enough to call into question, to the point of annihilating or rendering indeterminate, all the distinctive signs of a prior identity, beginning with the very border that delineated a legitimate home and assured lineage, names and language, nations, families and genealogies” (Aporias 34). This arrivant, then, disrupts both the identity and sovereignty of the would-be host in his own 	  	  19	  home. Derrida clarifies elsewhere, “the master, the one who invites, the inviting host, who becomes the hostage—and who really always has been. And the guest, the invited hostage, becomes the one who invites the one who invites, the master of the host. The guest becomes the host’s host” (Of Hospitality 125). Ultimately, then, there is no hospitality without a surprise that interrupts and surpasses the identity of the host him or herself.  A number of figures of hospitality recur at length throughout Derrida’s late oeuvre – particularly figures of surprise and ambiguity. The arrival without warning, for one, is crucial in Derrida’s theorization of hospitality, and a visitation for which we cannot prepare is perhaps what most accurately differentiates a conditional hospitality from an unconditional one in which the implications or nature of the guest, along with the never-quite prepared host, inscribe a dynamic that exceeds anticipation and preparation. The visitor comes to be “where s/he was not expected” (Derrida, Aporias 33) and arrives “without any horizon of expectation” (Derrida, “Hostipitality” 17n). Derrida makes frequent mention of the aporias of hospitality, its internal contradictions and paradoxical incongruities. Not only does hospitality deconstruct itself when put into practice (Derrida, “Hostipitality” 5), it is internally inconsistent – that which it requires to make possible is the same thing that renders it impossible. As Derrida explains using the figure of the door, for there to be hospitality, “there must be a door. But if there is a door, there is no longer hospitality” (“Hostipitality” 14). For Derrida this is the difference – “the gap” – between a “hospitality of invitation and the hospitality of visitation”, the latter of which has yet to arrive in its absolute form and thus, “we do not know what hospitality is. Not yet” (“Hostipitality” 14; 6). Ultimately, however, it is this aporia that keeps the promise of a hospitality-to-come alive. Derrida refers to this as the double law of hospitality – the necessity of calculating risk “but without closing the door on the incalculable, that is, on the 	  	  20	  future and the foreigner” (“Principle” 6). Much like Derrida’s work on mourning, forgiveness and the giving and receiving of gifts, hospitality is also configured as impossible. In other words, the other who arrives without invitation, without determination or identification, never actually arrives. As Penelope Deutscher explains, “the other is always to some extent understood by my horizon of expectation” (73). Kearney and Semonovitch elaborate further: “the face that appears is always the face of the Foreigner-for-me” (11), even when that stranger appears from within – a distinction that I will take up in depth in Chapter Five alongside Julia Kristeva’s notion of “strangers to ourselves.” Absolute hospitality is therefore impossible not only because practical ethics makes it so, but also because we are unable to encounter the stranger as radically other. Far from terminating any conversation on hospitality however, Derrida’s thinking invites us to imagine new ways of conceptualizing hospitable relations and to search for examples of hospitality in odd, unfamiliar and unexpected places. Cultural production – the films, literature, art, and public institutions created in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks – provides us with new ways of apprehending the complexities of thinking through the concept of hospitality that are not entirely unrelated but promisingly untethered from strictly political and/or philosophical understanding. Indeed, as Derrida himself apprehended the 9/11 attacks he increasingly attended to an absolute sense of hospitality as an impossibility but one that is always worth searching for.   1.2.3 Hospitality now  What Derrida’s reading of Kant and Levinas – as well as his own theorization and questioning of the possibility of an absolute hospitality (to come or not to come) – ultimately suggests is that hospitality is so thoroughly, ambiguously and paradoxically 	  	  21	  enmeshed in a complicated politics of difference, and in the tension between a philosophically potent ideal and the realities of deploying practical ethics to real social, cultural and political phenomena. While not a gap in Derrida’s thinking (indeed, he certainly acknowledges, even embraces these aporias), a number of theorists have addressed this lacuna in order to make sense of some of the more ethical and geopolitically pressing realities of our contemporary moment. One significant point of debate is Derrida’s insistence, following Levinas, that any attempts to identify the other renders hospitality defunct. According to Richard Kearney, this notion that to “represent the alterity of the other is a betrayal” underestimates “the legitimate need for recognition and reciprocity and renders virtually impossible any attempt to develop a critical hermeneutics of narrative imagination and judgment” (Strangers 108). What is needed, Kearney suggests, is a way to distinguish those who require our hospitality from those who really do intend to do us harm – a strategy that balances immanence and transcendence and does not “let the foreign become too foreign or the familiar too familiar” (Strangers 11). It is difficult, in other words, to escape the practical realities of the world we live in, hence Kearney and Semonovitch ask, of Derrida in particular, “if deconstruction is good for thought, is it good for life?” (13).  If hospitality uncovers something “good,” it does so within an understanding that the idea of good – whether for life or thought – is itself an unstable and highly contested construct and, thus, returns us to the complex and often paradoxical attempt to put ideals into practice, all the while recognizing that such practices never fully guarantee a “good” result. For Sara Ahmed, hospitality is deconstructive – good for thought – but also “good for life.” In her view, the Law of hospitality must be both absolute and particular. Ahmed argues “we need to recognize the infinite nature of responsibility, but the finite and particular circumstances in which I am called on to respond to others” (147). 	  	  22	  Hospitality based on en ethics of welcoming the “stranger,” then, assumes that the stranger is, in fact, un-assimilable yet simultaneously “assimilates others into an economy of difference” (Ahmed 150-151). Thus, Ahmed claims we need analyses both of how this economy is established as well as how to offer hospitality before the stranger is assimilated into this exchange (151). Moreover, while Derrida seems to address this in his notion of the arrivant, who appears as a figure of unexpected and unidentified singularity, Ahmed suggests this is an ethics based on the forgetting of names that locate or identify the stranger – what is needed, she argues, is “a hospitality that remembers the encounters that are already implicated in such names…and how they affect the movement and arrival of others” (151). Still, however, distinguishes between absolute (and impossible) hospitality as an ideal and a hospitality that is expressed and experienced as a social, cultural and political structure. For Still, the need to differentiate between harmful and benign guests that both Kearney and Ahmed point to, is an attempt to apply the laws of hospitality – the practical expressions of hospitality as applied to possibilities within the political domain and social structures of belonging – to Derrida’s Law of hospitality which is “an impossible structure” (Derrida 10). Indeed, as Mark Westmoreland notes, a “new understanding of hospitality requires a rethinking of the laws of common, conditional hospitality in contrast with the law, or perhaps we should say ethics, of unconditional hospitality” (1), a point Gideon Baker seems to echo in his theorization of “cosmopolitanism as ethics,” in which “the ethics of hospitality” is “always and already a politics” (15). These theorizations of hospitality become even more significant when explored in the specific contexts that post-9/11 cultural production provides and prompt questions such as: What does it mean to encounter hospitality in the context of public memory and in which modes of memorialization are interrupted by undesired guests? How does hospitality rely on certain 	  	  23	  representations of structures of intimacy that can be violent as often as they are affirming? What happens when hospitality is taken out of its most familiar metaphor – the home – and read in the context of art in dynamic and fluid urban space? Finally, what is at stake in imagining lives as irrevocably and inevitably embedded by (and in) other lives and in ways that challenge the ontology and intentionality of a stable self?  I point out all of these debates surrounding hospitality to, again, illustrate its universality without equivalence. It is a discussion that is certainly not new but has become increasingly important as the event of 9/11, its aftermath, and the seemingly perpetual war on terror have only intensified a global preoccupation with strangeness. This dissertation, then, reads hospitality in the context of the culture produced in response to 9/11 but does not do so on the shoulders of any one theorist. To be sure, my argument for the necessity of hospitality after 9/11 follows Derrida’s claim that “hospitality is ethics,” but I also draw on the complexities raised by others and hold in tension the notion of a Law of hospitality – a welcome to whoever or whatever will arrive, however unexpected and however violently – and an attentiveness to a discourse of unconditional welcome that is challenged and even made unbearable by the particular conditions of social and cultural life in a time of terror.  1.3 Methodology and Objects of Analysis My dissertation offers an interdisciplinary exploration of the philosophy of hospitality in a time of terror. Its objects of analysis are the figures of hospitality that lie at the center of cultural production and often vary in the ways that they readily signify the event of 9/11 and its aftermath. Indeed, some of the texts I work through may well have been produced had the event itself not happened; nonetheless, they are important moments in shaping 9/11 and post-9/11 culture. I turn to these texts in order to examine the extent to 	  	  24	  which they present us with figures emblematic of the potentials and pitfalls of hospitality. How, I wonder, do these texts engage with questions of otherness and the stranger and give those who encounter them an opportunity to reflect deeply on rituals of welcome, invitation, and openings to care and hospitality? Conversely, how does this particular and idealized set of ethics fail in the context of relations between strangers after 9/11 but, in that failure, reveal significant implications of hospitality itself? I use the idea of hospitality, in the general sense that I have outlined in the preceding pages, as a complex figure that is promising, challenging, and can never simply be contained within a particular frame of thought or era. Moreover, the purpose of this project is not to perform an assessment of the degree to which the cultural texts in question succeed or fail to furnish an ideal practice or program of hospitality – to the extent that ethical relations can ever be prescribed; rather, it is to point out the diverse and even devastating ways that hospitality appears in the archive over and over again and in ways that remind us that if hospitality as we understand it is failing, it matters more than ever how we deploy it, even and especially if that deployment can only ever take shape as a set of laws that never fully amount to the Law. As Peggy Kamuf writes, “to think the unconditionality of such concepts is not at all to remove thought from the practical experiences we wish to call hospitality, gift, forgiveness, or justice. On the contrary, this thinking registers the very desire to go on calling to these names for that which remains impossible as present experience” (207). It is only because we have sight of what an unconditional hospitality might look like, however distant and seemingly impossible, that any practical expression of hospitality might take place; thus, we look elsewhere or awry to see how hospitality might be working unnoticed in places where we have only seen it fail such as in the more reactionary and retributive responses to 9/11. Absolute hospitality, 	  	  25	  while still unrealized, remains “the condition for the possibility of hospitality—the hospitality that we have always known” (Westmoreland 3). Thus, my own use of “hospitality” refers to both the laws and the Law – though I do distinguish, at times between the conditional and unconditional – simply in order to acknowledge that one cannot exist without the other. Such reasoning follows Derrida’s claim that hospitality is “an art and a poetics, but an entire politics depends on it, an entire ethics is decided by it” (“Principle” 7). Indeed, hospitality is so thoroughly entangled in both ethics and politics, yet my aim is to hold these complexities in continual tension rather than resolve them. It is to see the cultural texts of 9/11 as deeply enmeshed in the politics and aesthetics of the event itself but as gesturing beyond those politics and aesthetics as well in order to ward off the impulse to see only the foreclosure on and withholding of conditional hospitality on the surface of these texts rather than the complex and provocative operations of absolute hospitality occurring below.   1.3.1 Strangers, Aliens and the Politics of Difference To be sure, there are a number of related figures of both conditional and unconditional hospitality that this project is invested in: mourning, the arrival, naming and identification, the home, and the uncanny, among others. There are, however, two features of absolute hospitality that resurface over and over again in the cultural texts produced after 9/11 and they are given much attention in this dissertation. I want to emphasize both here as they address why hospitality matters (now and now more than ever) and, in particular, why thinking about hospitality has intensified after 9/11. The first of these is the increased preoccupation with strangers, guests and aliens that appears at length in both cultural texts and contemporary theories of hospitality. Still, for example, notes not once, but three times, 	  	  26	  the significance of asylum seekers, immigration, xenophobia and globalization to contemporary interest in hospitality (“Figures” 194; Derrida 1; Enlightenment 8). Ahmed also takes up the question of the stranger at length in Strange Encounters, and argues that a hospitality to the alien might “allow us to become human” (2). The stranger, for Ahmed is alternately displaced (as a figure of abject difference) or fetishized (as in multiculturalism) and thus becomes a figure “that is circulated and exchanged in order to define the borders and boundaries of given communities” (150). Strangers serve to manage borders for Kearney as well – in particular the borders of the self. They remind the ego “that it is never wholly sovereign” (Strangers 1) and are represented in increasingly monstrous ways as part of the Manichean rhetoric that has developed after 9/11. The War on Terror, for Kearney, is a “war with difference,” that is reflected in the need to create monsters, others and aliens as “surrogates” to put a “face on phobia” (Strangers 113; 121). The language around strangers and others has become indispensible from the ways in which we now understand ourselves in the (Western) world and, as Simpson notes, “[t]he cluster of words describing those who are (or are made to seem) different from us (whoever ‘us’ is) – the foreigner, the alien, the strangers – has also been critical in the articulation of how we live life in the North Atlantic sector after 9/11” (Romanticism 2). Indeed, Baker suggests that contemporary questions about terror and immigration have forced “the ethics of hospitality” back “into a politics” (116). In the cultural works produced after 9/11, then, questions about the stranger are not only prominent; they are unavoidable, whether they address inhuman and dehumanized others, abject figures of gender and sexuality, enclaves of cultural difference, or the uncanny return of others long buried. What this sustained preoccupation with the figure of the stranger after 9/11 reveals is that hospitality must continue to be tested and theorized in consideration of a politics of 	  	  27	  difference that, for various reasons, deems some strangers more strange and differentially deserving of hospitable care and protection. Yet for Anne Dufourmantelle, it is precisely the stranger who engages our sense of ethics, not in spite of the uncertainty such figures bring, but precisely because of it. She elaborates: “Our anxiety grows out of these questions: What/who is the foreigner? What does he/she/it mean? Where do you come from; where are you going? What are your intentions? What is it you want from me? The foreigner, indeed, does not pose the question – he/she/it is the question – a question that begs my response and my responsibility” (Dufourmantelle 21). Indeed, so many of the questions raised by the texts explored here concern difference: How do these works engage with an absolute hospitality at the same time as they respond to and as lived and embodied social relations? What would it mean to recognize figures of difference as a moment of potential hospitality rather than a scene of fear and suspicion? And how can an ethically engaged but politically and culturally relevant hospitality operate in ways that respond to the irreducible alterity of the other without incorporating that alterity into a regime of familiarity, however practical?  1.3.2 Hospitality and Violence  The other figure of hospitality that this dissertation emphasizes at length is perhaps a more disturbing one. The 9/11 cultural archive is intimately concerned with notions of strangeness, to be sure, but within that seems to be an enduring fixation with figures of death; ghosts, torture, redaction, invisibility, illness, and suicide operate at length in this archive yet not in the ways that we might initially expect. Often over the course of this dissertation I will be looking at hospitality’s failure – and failures that, no doubt, lead to violence and even death – but these so-called failures also expose some of hospitality’s 	  	  28	  most persistent engagements with an absolute and pure ethics of welcome. These moments are perhaps more devastating than hopeful, more implicating and unsettling, but they remind us what is at stake in pursuing an unconditional hospitality to the stranger. Dufourmantelle clarifies these stakes: “Hospitality under compassion and violence – that is to say, hospitality under the violence of radical ethics, caused by radical (com)passion – is unconditional hospitality” (23, emphasis added). Here, Dufourmantelle recalls a crucial realization that is necessary on the part of the would-be host; namely, that hospitality will never, can never, be a promise of safety or freedom from harm. Hospitality may, in fact, be the very opposite. As Michael Naas reminds us, “there can be no law or formula, no categorical imperative, to ensure that hospitality does not cross into hostility’ (10). Moreover, in his study on Romanticism and the Question of the Stranger, Simpson suggests that “reckoning with the strangers ‘in theory’ very soon produces a sense that one cannot be either welcoming or rejecting without risking some degree of self-harm, and that a whole range of possibilities opens up between the extremes of unconditional hospitality (Derrida’s term) and absolute aversion” (9). Indeed, even when the hospitable encounter is initiated on the basis of goodwill and genuine care, even when all conditions seem to have been met, the specter of death lingers to test how pure these hospitable bonds really are. Even classical experiences of hospitality always hovered on the threat of violence. As Reece points out in his study of Homer, while the Odyssey’s homecoming scene is structured around figures emblematic of hospitality – a meat basket, a footstool for visitors to rest their feet – these become tools for destruction when they are weaponized and thrown at guests (11). What Reece points to here, is not the ways in which hospitality (in its pure sense) always seems untenable but, rather, that host and guest themselves are unstable categories and protection is not guaranteed for or from either party. Thus, in the readings 	  	  29	  that follow, I will explore at length, the implications of a hospitality that slides so easily into violence only to conclude that (according to the Law) it must. This is not, finally, an endorsement of violence, but, rather, an acknowledgement of the myriad of ways in which hospitality calls us to be open to the possibility of harm and to recognize that such harm is not necessarily an immediate and irredeemable foreclosure of ethics in the sense that violence documents the pressing and real difficulties of any hospitality worthy of its name – difficulties that demand attentive and ongoing consideration.  1.4 Structure and Selection of Texts Bearing in mind the relationship between a politics of difference, violence and death, and the complexities of an absolute hospitality, the 9/11 cultural archive is compelling for a number of reasons. First, the event of 9/11 (and the discourse surrounding it and the subsequent War on Terror) lends itself well to a discussion of encounters with strangers. The event functions as a kind of temporal and spatial gateway, marking out “here” from “there” but also before from after while the gate itself, swinging forward and backward, renders such distinctions porous. Second, these cultural texts are saturated by images of and references to, both literal and not, figures of hospitality whether it be gates, borders, doors, openings, permeabilities, invitations or closures. While hospitality has been explored in terms of its philosophical significance, this project presents it as an aspect of social and cultural life made more explicit and necessary by the context of 9/11 and its aftermath. In this archive, we are repeatedly confronted by the figures and failures of hospitality. Yet rather than make 9/11 the focus of my study, I look at the ways in which these texts reveal themselves to be artifacts intimately concerned with questions of hospitality rather than the event itself. There are a variety of existing studies on the range of 	  	  30	  cultural responses to 9/11, none of which broach the subject of hospitality. Existing criticism on 9/11 culture takes two predominant forms representing both the depth and breadth of the archive: volumes dealing with a particular medium – television, for example – and volumes that address a number of mediums at once – often structured as an introductory and survey approach to the archive. Both the literary and popular culture analyses seem to suggest that the effectiveness of a cultural text after 9/11 is measured by its fidelity to history and its role in mediating individual or collective trauma.6 Using this as a general guiding principle, these studies often offer separate chapters based on the most established genres of post 9/11 culture (art, film, television, music) with some notable exceptions – in September 11th and Popular Culture, Sara Quay and Amy Damico offer a chapter on “Everyday Life” and Andrew Martin and Patrice Petro (Rethinking Global Security: Media, Popular Culture, and the War on Terror) include radio and even satellite imagery as aspects of 9/11 culture in need of scholarly reflection. These obvious and not-so obvious objects of study reveal both the pervasiveness and productivity of 9/11 culture as well as the challenge of defining or containing the genre as a whole. Moreover, this literature illustrates the ways in which popular culture becomes a significant way of understanding and mediating recent history. Jeff Birkenstein, Anna Froula and Karen Randall (Reframing 9/11: Film, Popular Culture and the ‘War on Terror’) are both “encouraged and dismayed” by the fact that the important geopolitical issues arising from 9/11 are being discussed in popular culture venues and not by world leaders (2). Indeed, what this growing body of work reveals is that the cultural work produced in the wake of 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  6 This is particularly the case in the context of “post-9/11” fiction, a debate I will explore in more depth in Chapter Five, Organic Shrapnel: Hospitality, Incorporation, and Infirmity in Don DeLillo’s Falling Man.  	  	  31	  9/11 should give us more than a survey of the diverse creative responses to the terrorist attacks: it might also be an opening to new conversations about crucial aspects of social and cultural life.  Likewise, hospitality is a concept that has yet to be fully applied to the 9/11 cultural archive but one that is ideally suited to unpacking the strange encounters that continually crop up in these cultural forms. It gives us a new lens through which to think the question of the stranger after 9/11 and the role of popular culture in mediating and, at times, exposing that relation – questions which, while directed towards cultural products, have ultimately ethico-political implications. As Kearney notes, “the ethic of hospitality replies that the stranger is precisely the one who reminds us – not as enemy but as host – that the self is never an autonomous identity but a guest graciously hostaged to its host” (“Beyond Conflict” 101). In mapping the significance of hospitality in the 9/11 archive then, I take up the work of Kant, Derrida, Levinas and Kearney, in particular, to utilize, question and ultimately extend their thinking into a more contemporary arena. Indeed, much of the influential theorizations of hospitality pre-date the event of 9/11 and, while they certainly address debates surrounding violence, terror, and strangers, they do not – indeed, cannot in many cases – address terror in all of its situated and culturally contextual complexity. There are also more recent theoretical criticisms that address a host of issues adjacent to hospitality in the post-9/11 milieu. Notable examples are: Judith Butler’s work on precarity and vulnerability, Simpson’s theorization of the “culture of commemoration,” Giorgio Agamben’s conceptualization of both bare life and the state of exception, and Marc Redfield’s exploration of the role of rhetoric in eclipsing and, at times, exacerbating the effects of trauma, virtuality, and a genealogical understanding of “terror.” All of these theories and theorists, as well as the cultural criticism on 9/11 texts are indispensible to my 	  	  32	  study – they inform, contextualize, and challenge my argument without overshadowing the centrality of hospitality to this archive of post-9/11 cultural production. In other words, while well-studied in terms of representation and mediation, and in conjunction with a variety of other, crucial theoretical concerns, I argue that this archive prompts us, most significantly, to ask new questions about how we engage with others and strangers and claims hospitality as a imperative political concern as well as a social and ethical one in an era that remains a time of terror.  I am, therefore, particularly interested in texts that do not immediately, if ever, recall a moment in which hospitality prevails. I have selected works of cultural memory, film, art and literature that show the breadth of hospitality’s influence across a variety of cultural forms but that offer a depth of insight, historical specificity, and theoretical intensity that only a product created in the aftermath of 9/11 allows. That is not to say that texts produced outside of this context do not concern matters of hospitality, nor does it suggest that the texts chosen here more readily signify the event of 9/11 than the countless other examples of popular, literary and artistic expression created in the wake of terrorist attack. The list here is not comprehensive nor does it attempt to “solve” the problem of hospitality after 9/11. Rather, it moves towards a theory of hospitality after 9/11 and suggests that in a milieu characterized by an intensified politics of difference surrounding known and unknown others after 9/11 as well as a influx of cultural texts from which we are increasingly deriving our understanding of terror and the event itself, it matters now more than ever how we think of hospitality, ethics, and living with others. In my reading of texts, then, I follow Simpson, who argues that  [t]hinking upon the stranger can thus produce an awareness of thought itself as a moving event, a process of adjustment or dialogue, and not a preservation of 	  	  33	  boundaries and given definitions. When this movement stops there is violence, and then the discussion turns to the legitimacy of that same violence, that is, to states of exception and who decides them. (Romanticism 9)  Moving away from liberal discourses of multiculturalism and tolerance, as well as moral discourses of compassion and philanthropy, my intention is to work towards a theory of hospitality that is philosophical and ethical – a hospitality that is unwilled, unbidden and from which we cannot turn away – and one that recognizes the political and cultural stakes of an unconditional welcome that may fail or, perhaps terrifyingly, may succeed. Indeed, the possibility of hospitality and the possibility of violence are never far from each other, yet as Derrida claims, “this is necessary, this possible hospitality to the worst is necessary so that good hospitality can have a chance, the chance of letting the other come, the yes of the other no less than the yes to the other” (Adieu 35). It matters that we keep that possibility alive, particularly when we are living increasingly in a culture of fear rather than welcome. Where better to go looking, then, than in the places so often thought to foreclose hospitable relations? In Chapter Two, I take up the recently opened National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. I argue that the structures of commemoration (including Freedom Tower, the memorial pools and the museum itself) that fill the void left by the towers offer compelling texts through which to think the question of hospitality, particularly as hospitality is engaged or disavowed through an experience with loss. At the memorial site, hospitality traverses a number of strange concerns that make and unmake the borders between living and dead, presence and absence. The crypt-like caverns that house the bulk of the museums displays and exhibitions host both acknowledged and unacknowledged artifacts – dust, remnant objects, selective histories and even human 	  	  34	  remains – that raise crucial questions for the relationship between hospitality and memorialization; in particular, what are the “guests” that show up unannounced to insist that hospitality is central to thinking about the ways in which we mourn and memorialize known and unknown others? While these concerns seem abstract and distant from the visceral and physical realities of real human loss, they are vital components to an understanding of the ways in which 9/11 – and the notion of “terror” in general – have transformed both the meaning and the practice of hospitality.  Chapter Three offers a reading of the 2011 film, Zero Dark Thirty, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and asks how hospitality might function in consideration of the violence perpetuated against bodies marked by discourses of race, gender, and sexuality. Zero Dark Thirty is punctuated by continual references to gates, doors and thresholds but also reflects a more nuanced engagement with hospitality in the rituals of gift-giving and invitation as well as in the depictions of prisoner interrogation. In particular, I look at the relationship between hospitality and intimacy in the context of prisoner violence and argue that the film welcomes the viewer into a regime of intimacy that seeks to project difference onto the other but inadvertently reveals the singularity of that other instead. I suggest that the film offers some compelling opportunities for thinking about how hospitality is unwilled and unbidden, as well as how intimacy can slip into hostility when exercised within frameworks of colonial desire and distain.  In Chapter Four, I look at street art in London and, in particular, the work of Stik (who operates under a pseudonym). I argue that street art mediates broader anxieties about the terror of strangers and the ways in which the figure of the stranger has intensified after 9/11, producing fascinating effects in terms of how hospitality is both lived and disavowed. The anonymity of the artist, the displacement of the home as a locus of art collection and of 	  	  35	  the street as something to be owned, and the careful arrangement of stick figures in doorways and on walls all speak loudly to the complexities of hospitality that this chapter is deeply invested in – complexities that seem to intensify when examined through the prism of urban space. I turn to these figures, and others that crop up in various artworks and movements, in order to investigate if and how alternative modes of hospitality are enabled by the fluid and dynamic space of the street. What does urban space tell us about the work of hospitality, its complex relations, strange proximities and even stranger canvases for expression? In other words, how does our thinking of hospitality change when viewed through the lens of a practice that is, essentially, home-less? I argue that street art transcends political and legal understandings of hospitality and insists that learning to live with strangers is at the core of our being in the world.  Chapter Five looks at Don DeLillo's 2007 novel Falling Man and argues that the novel offers a profound and sustained engagement with hospitality through the figure of organic shrapnel, a metaphor deployed by DeLillo to designate the possibility of being literally pierced by the flesh of a suicide bomber upon detonation. As a metaphor, organic shrapnel suggests the possibility of being embedded by another and, as a result, has significant implications for thinking about the ways in which we engage or disengage with the lives of strangers. In particular, this chapter takes up Falling Man’s persistence on a discourse of infirmity that is characterized by the possibility or organic shrapnel but also by figures of suicide, dementia and autoimmunity that raise provocative questions when thinking about a hospitality that might – even must – bring violence.    	  	  36	  Chapter 2 Guests and Ghosts: Spectrality and Hospitality in the September 11 Memorial and Museum  “There would be no hospitality without the chance of spectrality. But spectrality is not nothing, it exceeds, and thus deconstructs, all ontological oppositions, being and nothingness, life and death – and it also gives”  (Derrida, Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas 111-112).  In St. Paul’s Chapel, adjacent to the September 11 Memorial and Museum and in the shadow of the soaring World Trade Center One, tens of thousands of bright paper cranes hang off of rows of cubicle-like partitions along the wall. They are divided into looped chains of one thousand of the small origami figures, a popular symbol in Japanese mythology and one that is perhaps best known through the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who suffered from Leukemia as a result of the atomic bomb dropped by American forces in Hiroshima in 1945 (Barng). Her mission, to fold a thousand paper cranes before her death, is seen as a plea for peace in Japanese culture and was taken up after the 9/11 attacks as Japanese school children sent cranes to relief workers and volunteers in New York City. It is a curious addition to a display that relies overtly on a notion of 9/11 as an American tragedy deserving of international recognition and sympathy. The display in St. Paul’s Chapel conveys appreciation for these global expressions of support but does not include any acknowledgement of American’s role in the history of these cranes in the twentieth century. As a gesture of peace towards those suffering in New York, but one that cannot help but call up a history of American violence, the display of cranes in St. Paul’s 	  	  37	  Chapel is a complicated example of the variety of the ways in which 9/11 is remembered, particularly as it occurs in an iconic spiritual and historical landmark. The cranes offer a number of significant figures for thinking about the function of hospitality at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum (hereafter the 9/11 Museum)7 and, in particular, the ways in which the museum is hospitable to diverse narratives of memorialization and history. They also reflect a larger trend of public memorialization in the aftermath of 9/11 and have retained much of the haphazard and collaborative spirit that initially characterized public tributes after the attacks. The displays inside St. Paul’s Chapel are a somewhat impromptu and, like the many memorials that appeared in front of homes, stores and both fire and police stations, they act as an unofficial monument to the event of 9/11 and, in particular, those who participated in recovery experts or volunteered in various service capacities. In the days, weeks, and months following the September 11 terrorist attacks, makeshift memorials became a way for people to express their collective grief, hope and disbelief in tangible ways and in the absence of any official monument. These memorials ranged in size and content but reveal significant trends in the ways that the events of that day have been publicly remembered. Much like the artifacts now preserved in St. Paul’s Chapel, street memorials are also emblematic of the ways in which patriotism, violence, loss, and collective memory converge in a particularly Christianized spiritual expression. Martha Cooper’s extended photo essay, Remembering 9/11, contains a number of examples of this relationship between remembrance, nationalism and religion. Cooper’s photos depict a multitude of Christianized messages, 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  7 While the official title of the site is the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, site documents, admission tickets, signage, visitor guides, and employee uniforms alternately use this full title alongside “9/11 Museum”, “9/11 Memorial Museum”, “the Museum,” or “9/11 Memorial”. 	  	  38	  including references to going “home” (5), “God Bless America” (15; 52; 70), “In our prayers…” (24), pictures of rescue workers holding photographs of a cross (50), and a number of images of candles lit in front of American flags. While spirituality is certainly not reserved for the Christian faith, it is expressed in these memorials through an almost exclusively Christianized lens. Cooper’s essay does include a few images of other expressions of faith such as a Buddhist monk leading a group in prayer (46-47) and an Orthodox Jew playing a ceremonial shofar (ram’s horn) to commemorate the first anniversary of the attacks (74-75), for instance. Such images speak to the ways in which remembrance and memorialization almost always make themselves legible via other available discourses, whether those are spiritual, patriotic, or something else entirely. The memorials erected on street corners and in front of shops, as well as the somewhat haphazard exhibition of artifacts in St. Paul’s Chapel raise some important questions not only about the rituals of memorialization in a mediation of trauma that is at the same time political and deeply personal, but also about the borders of commemoration and a curious hospitality to what lies beyond it that defines but also exceeds memorialization. They suggest that processes of remembrance are not confined to official, or even visible, markers of tribute, and while many of these impromptu memorials were found in New York, commemoration is not a merely local concern. Where does the memorial museum start and end – bordered as it is by St. Paul’s Chapel and by the remnants of impromptu memorials that populated this territory in the days and weeks following September 11 – and at which point do the functions of the site become separated in such a way as to distinguish, for example, between the memorial fountains and the memorial museum, for instance? Does memorialization occur at the first sight of the sunken pools in the towers’ footprints? Or at 5,000 feet on final decent into the city where the void in the skyline becomes obvious? 	  	  39	  Does a trip to the museum conclude after a visit to the gift shop or does it continue as a result of every visitor’s recruitment into a living history that has no end? These are questions about commemoration and politics, to be sure, but in thinking around the boundaries of memorialization, history, space, and time, they are also questions about hospitality and about how the process of commemoration is also a process of cordoning off and selective inclusion. The museum represents a culmination of public mourning and remembrance, research, debate, and recovery in the aftermath of 9/11, and in some way signals the end of the critical phase of the War on Terror (although this war is, to be sure, far from over) – the death of Osama Bin Laden, the passing of the ten year anniversary of the attacks, the opening of the central landmark of memorialization, and the completion of One World Trade Center,8 which has become the most prominent signifier of the financial revitalization of lower Manhattan – are all notable moments in the culmination of more than a decade of recent history. Yet the opening of the museum also marks out a beginning and perhaps initiates a time when we might start thinking differently about the preoccupation with strangers that continues to dominate social, cultural and political life. In the rush to revitalize and commemorate, both the range of ways of encountering this event as well as a tendency toward conventional and normative expressions suggest the fascination with strangers is of vital concern yet has gone curiously untested and, if anything, has often resulted in fear, suspicion and violence rather than any sustained reflection. If there was ever a time for hospitality in the aftermath of 9/11, in short, the time is now, not only in consideration of the museum’s official opening, but because, as the War on Terror shifts away from Iraq and Afghanistan and towards other nations, it matters 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  8 Officially opened for business on November 3, 2014. 	  	  40	  increasingly how we deploy strategies of apprehending others – particularly as those strategies are learned from the legacy of the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 museum is, primarily, a memorial to the World Trade Center and the attacks that took place there; it is also, however, a museum that, more generally, documents what it means to live with others in a time of terror. The museum provides, then, a timely way of beginning this conversation not only because it deals with hospitality so intimately and surprisingly, but also because it offers up figures for analysis that reverberate with other aspects of cultural production including film, art, and literature. Structures of being and belonging, figures of spectrality and bodies that are “spirited away,” and the relationship between hospitality and violence – these are all occasions for thinking about ethics that are made possible in the space of the museum but are certainly not limited to that site alone. The 9/11 Museum is a complex site for thinking about how religion, patriotism and public memorialization operate alongside the more formal operations of an institution that deals with a relatively recent history. Yet the museum also provides an occasion to think about the ways in which hospitality is acutely engaged in processes of mourning and commemoration, particularly so in the aftermath of terrorist attack when the fear and suspicion of strangers is arguably in its most critical phase. Moreover, the museum reveals the range and complexity of an ethics of hospitality that manifests through 9/11’s cultural texts and moments in ways that are not always hospitable – that is, it calls up figures of hospitality that are strange, awkward, and even uncomfortable yet that demand recognition nonetheless. The preoccupation with hospitality is evident in so many cultural texts produced in the aftermath of 9/11, but the museum offers an especially effective context for framing this preoccupation as it is actually designed to offer some sense of hospitality as an institution of public memory. Thinking these questions initially through street memorials 	  	  41	  offers an interesting and complex study of the relationship between hospitality and memorialization, particularly as these memorials do not adhere to the rigorous processes of screening, identification, and assessment that exist in the larger and more sanctioned spaces of memorialization, such as the museum itself. The memorials that sprang up on the street after the terrorist attacks introduce a range of questions, moreover, important for thinking about the ways in which the museum reacts, hospitably or inhospitably, to the diversities of narrative, experience, and loss as forms of public memorialization are taken up into the larger and likely more enduring narrative of 9/11, and for interrogating which visitors, guests, strangers and others are left uninvited in this process and which arrive regardless.  2.1 Hospitality to public memorialization While the message of street memorials is often in keeping with conventional structures of remembrance – drawing on familiar elements such as photographs, flowers, and candles – the process of their creation is not. Street level memorials spring up spontaneously with little regard for security or architectural design. They often operate as un-curated or un-vetted expressions of individual and collective grief and bring “an awareness of the city’s public spaces as scenes of unsanctioned vernacular performance” (Haskins and DeRose 378). Unlike museums and official memorials, these unregulated spaces of remembrance do not charge fees, nor do they limit the number of visitors that can enter at once, or cordon them off using gates and vestibules. Where gates or fences do exist, they are incorporated into the memorial itself, the barrier serving to enhance the visibility of the display rather than restrict access. They are works of public memory but also public commemoration and public performance, as they grow larger with each person who visits and leaves a piece of memorabilia behind. After the terrorist attacks, slogans such as “God 	  	  42	  Bless America”, “9-1-1”, and narratives of strength, endurance and courage dominated the walls, sidewalks and stairwells dedicated to these impromptu outpourings of grief.9 As Jan Ramirez describes, New Yorkers “consoled” each other through memorials “that formed a kaleidoscope of color, fresh scents, and fervent grassroots sentiment in our shared public spaces” (qtd. in Cooper 7). Similarly, Ann Kaplan describes venturing out with her camera to take photographs of makeshift shrines, in an attempt “to make real what I could barely comprehend” (2). As Kaplan and Ramirez both note, these memorials become a way not only of remembering the dead but also of learning to live again with those around them, which may very well include the dead. Street memorials and the activities that correspond to them – prayer, storytelling, lighting candles, and speaking to those who are lost – blur the line between living and dead in providing an interstitial kind of space, a meeting point of sorts for those who mourn and those who are mourned. In this way, street memorials became a way of, in Kaplan’s words, feeling “a connection to strangers that I had never met before” (9) and possibly a connection to the lives that were lost. While these lives might go otherwise unknown, the particular connections of their memorialization make the dead more familiar. The importance of street memorials for thinking about hospitality is clear: if memorialization is a process of incorporating certain shared and individual memories, then the street-level memorial – its patriotic and spiritual rhetoric, and the inclusion of photos and, at times, even objects belonging to victims – suggests that such expressions of remembrance are deeply invested in the practice of living with others. Moreover, they are practices of memorialization that arrive uninvited and unannounced and, due to their 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  9 Martha Cooper’s Remembering 9/11 (Brooklyn: Mark Batty, 2011) and Ann Kaplan’s introductory chapter “9/11 and Disturbing Remains,” in Trauma Culture: The Politics of Terror and Loss in Media and Literature (New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2005) offer comprehensive auto-ethnographies on the public memorials that dominated the city landscape after the attacks. 	  	  43	  exposure to the elements, city by-laws and passersby, reflect more deeply the urgency of the moment. They seek no approval and answer no summons, yet demand that a space be opened to them. They are about making the lives of strangers known more intimately, as suggested by the many photographs included in the displays, yet they carve out this space and produce this knowledge in a very public way and suggest that the public sphere itself must be hospitable to loss and grieving and memorialization in ways that reflect official modes of remembering but are also never fully subsumed by them. Street memorials, in other words, rely on certain structures of feeling and commemoration tied to the larger discourses of patriotism and religion that permeate 9/11 memorialization on every level; they offer alternative conditions in terms of both those who mourn and those who are mourned but are not so radically unconstrained as to present an absolute foil to the official modes of commemoration represented in the museum. These spaces of public memorial, then, have everything to do with the work of hospitality in the aftermath of terrorist attack and the choice to open or close one’s self, home and nation to encounters with strangers – who both remember and are remembered – and to welcome others into a reciprocal exchange of grief and memorialization. The encounters with strangers – and with the strange lives of others that are made more intimate through makeshift memorial – is but one of many ways in which processes of memorialization engage with hospitality. Yet the larger and more open these memorials become in recognizing diverse expressions of grief, the more they draw the attention of official institutions of public memory and challenge official narratives of memorialization that are sanctioned by curators and board members in such a way that a singular version emerges. Indeed, when it comes to preserving aspects of these memorial sites in more permanent exhibits, their diverse narratives often seem to be funneled through an ever-	  	  44	  narrowing variety of disciplinary and exclusionary passageways, yet they are still heralded as “collective” mediations of grief in the efforts to secure a “common sense” process of memorialization that, in reality, is not that common. On the street, for example, public 9/11 memorials were initially less concerned with promoting mainstream political rhetoric but soon developed into larger and more organized tributes to victims and heroes and, in the rhetorical shift from loss to hope, diverse expressions of grief began to take similar shape. There are displays in the museum that speak to the plethora of street-side memorials and, to be fair, some of the actual artifacts collected from the street have been preserved for the museum’s “After 9/11” exhibition hall. The items on display, however, are only a fraction of what sprang up in the aftermath of the attacks and offer a representative approach to the diversity of impromptu responses collected on the street. To be sure, it is not the street itself that establishes makeshift memorials as a more ideal site of public engagement; likewise, when memorialization is taken off the street and placed in the institution, it is not a de facto turn away from meaningful encounters among strangers and a diversity of expression. However, there are significant operation of power at work in the vetting and administration of these artifacts and selecting only certain pieces of public memorization for display in a “National” museum only complicates the attempt to establish a sense of what public commemoration might look like. In reality, it is difficult to decipher where the street ends and the institution begins, as the swell of grassroots memorials, when combined with a proliferation of news and entertainment media releasing a steady stream of 9/11 material, has contributed to a plethora of understandings of the event itself as well as a complicated desire – misguidedly compulsory and perhaps even dangerous – for a more structured and authorized version of events.  	  	  45	  To fill the gap in official and institutionalized processes of memorialization and, I would argue, to control the narrative, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation was, according to its official website, formally incorporated in 2005 and soon after began preparations for an official memorial and educational museum on the former World Trade Center site. As a result of this shift from impromptu to more regulated memorials, not only were the objects from the street often removed and incorporated, after careful vetting, into larger museum displays, but they began to be subsumed by the larger disciplinary processes of museum policy and security. In planning these exhibits, the museum planning committee enlisted the help of Dr. Edward Linenthal, and his experience (gained from his consultation on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum) in “documenting the often thorny, though always-redemptive paths to the realization of America’s public memorials to traumatic events” (“On the Civic Nature”). Yet, while Linenthal seems to accept the inevitability and utility of “controversy” as evidence of public engagement (“Civic”), the actual remnants of public commemoration that have been taken up into the museum are more one-dimensional than they are controversial. They include an array of cultural and religious responses but with far less surprise and public focus than when they existed on the street, for the simple fact that they are contained within the museum’s parameters of both purpose and practicality. Yet it is their specific location within the museum that is most interesting, as they appear as part of a succession of historical displays documenting the “before” and “after” of the attacks. The examples of public memorials, specifically, act as a bridging section between a brief history of Al Qaeda10 and the exhibits detailing the immediate response by police and firefighters. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  10 The “Rise of Al Qaeda” exhibit and, in particular, the 7 minute video exploring the roots of radical Islam 	  	  	  46	  In this way, the public reaction is seen as a direct reply to terrorism rather than a grasping with a multitude of emotions related to the events of that day. Moreover, the examples of public commemoration are overshadowed by more official timelines and stories of heroism. The notion of a street memorial, while open to greater interpretation on the street itself, is thus viewed within the framework of a much larger historical exhibit that is very direct about the narrative of memorialization it wishes to offer: an example of an outpouring of grief that was caused by Al Qaeda terrorists and suffered by innocent victims and, most poignantly, by NYPD and FDNY heroes. The 9/11 Museum also engages with a conditional form of hospitality by extending an invitation to visitors to be a part of an ongoing project of public commemoration. While street memorials were open, for the most part, to flowers, artifacts, stories, and other offerings from anyone passing by, the museum itself only appears to promote a similar collaborative approach to memorialization. Museum Director Alice Greenwald certainly invites guests to contribute, noting “our visitors have a voice in this Museum, reinforcing the idea that each of us is engaged in the making of history” (“Director’s Message”). Indeed, throughout the museum’s exhibitions, there are opportunities for visitors to offer memories, stories, and sentiments. At the entrance to the cavernous Foundation Hall, for example, four digital “smart” screens invite guests to add a statement. There are no posted restrictions on what can be written; however, the screen plays a continuous loop of 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  has been the subject of much controversy since the museum opened with Muslim leaders and even museum visitors claiming the video fails to properly distinguish between Islam as a peaceful faith and a radical fundamentalism (Otterman). There is a text panel beside the video that notes the distinction – citing Al Qaeda as a “small fraction” of Islam. Sharon Otterman points out a number of disturbing omissions in the video and accompanying displays. Not only is the discussion of Islam in the museum taken up almost entirely in the context of terrorism, but the video commentary positions Osama Bin Laden as struggling to “defend Islam” (indeed, the only Muslims who speak in the video are Al Qaeda leaders) and does not provide any information on Islam that is not related to terrorism (Otterman). 	  	  47	  messages that have been previously provided. These messages overwhelmingly offer words of hope, support, love, and grief that align closely with the mission of the museum itself – to “bear solemn witness” and to attest “to the triumph of human dignity over human depravity” (“Mission”).11 A more formalized process takes place deeper in the museum where visitors can record their own message in one of several state-of-the-art recording studios. The studios are open to any visitor to the museum, yet they are small and dimly lit spaces, accessed through a set of glass doors.12 In the recording studio there is no notice as to what will be done with the recorded statements, where visitors might obtain their own copy, or how they could possibly delete the message if they changed their mind at a later date. According to Greenwald, a visitor’s recorded message “not only gets integrated into [the] archive, but can actually be selected for the memorial exhibition” (qtd. in Vega, emphasis added). Greenwald’s words seem to suggest that while visitors to the recording studio are tacitly agreeing to their voice being used as the museum sees fit (there are no waivers, disclosures, or permissions forms), the process resembles somewhat of a contest, with only some narratives being selected for use in the public exhibitions. How are these decisions made and what room, if any, is there for perspectives that counter the museum’s expressed mission? If the recording itself is free, open, and unregulated, how much so is the process by which they are adopted as official museum material? What are the conditions upon which visitors’ stories can be incorporated into the sanctioned 9/11 narrative? 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  11 These observations are based on an in-person visit to the museum on October 17, 2014. During this visit, all four digital screens were operational and displayed messages that, while not exact copies, reinforced one another in their emphasis on conventional words of remembrance. “We will never forget”, “You are Loved”, “God Bless”, and “You are Heroes” were some of the more common sentiments expressed. During the ten minutes I observed, I did not see any messages that did not follow this pattern of memorialization. 12 When I visited the recording studio, there were no other museum visitors inside, and none of the studios were being used, despite the huge crowds visiting the museum that day. 	  	  48	  If street memorials provide a more surprising, collaborative, and perhaps even unbidden engagement with the lives and grief of others, then the promise of this engagement is surely altered when one’s sympathies, knowledge, and mediation of collective memorialization are hostaged to the administrative bodies that govern the production and use of the exhibit. While the informal street memorials and institutionalized examples of public commemoration appear to be similar, they function in entirely different ways. On one hand, the street memorial is impromptu – its collection of artifacts is continually built up in a more arbitrary fashion and, in that process, it assembles together a variety of meanings that can be continuously contested or altered. The museum exhibit of civic memorialization, on the other hand, gathers artifacts together in response to the established mandate of the museum. The opinions and experiences of visitors are, to be sure, not uniform and the exhibit is altered in some way by the visitor experience. However, the exhibit acts not as a memorial itself but as a curated historical snapshot of an idea of what an appropriate memorial may have been.  This memorial exhibit, assembled inside the museum, is no longer contingent on the comings-together of strangers but, rather, is regulated by more formal operations including, but not limited to, surveillance, admission costs, directions, line-ups, and the rhetoric of ownership inscribed within a planning committee that includes a board, directors, a chairman and even a president. What is lost in this incorporation, itself a gesture that welcomes unofficial history into the official narrative, and how does it pose a significant challenge to ways in which hospitality may be thought to operate at the memorial site? Indeed, how do these public expressions cease to be memorials at all but, rather, offer historical evidence of public mourning after the attacks? And what possibilities for hospitality may still exist in the sanctioned and regulated spaces of the memorial museum? To be sure, the memorial and museum do not 	  	  49	  make explicit claims about their contribution to the work of hospitality. The expressed “mission” of the museum is simply “to bear solemn witness” to the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in both 2001 and 1993 (“Mission”). The museum, however, is selective in who and what it bears witness to as well as in the testimonies it incorporates into its carefully arranged interpretation of both the 199313 and 2001 terrorist attacks. Indeed, in most cases, the memorial and museum are understood as committed to the retelling of events and to operating as a space for collective understanding and healing. Yet, intentional or not, the museum engages with matters of hospitality on many levels and raises crucial questions about how strangers are encountered after 9/11 and how certain spaces function to limit or enhance the possibilities of hospitable welcome. There is much to read in how spaces shape, facilitate and, at times, foreclose on ethics and the exhibits that fill the void left by the towers offer compelling texts through which to think the question of hospitality, particularly as hospitality is engaged or disavowed through an experience with loss.   2.2 Strange hospitalities and the arrival of the ghost While the museum often seems to reject the ongoing centrality of hospitality to thinking and understanding social and cultural life after 9/11, the site is overflowing with examples of hospitality that are perhaps more unconventional and surprise us with not only a shocking arrival, but also a haunting absence. Indeed, memorial museums often alert us to 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  13 While this mandate suggests that the 1993 bombing is a crucial component of the museum’s overall exhibition it is not heavily emphasized either in physical presence or historical significance. While there is a small explanation of the events of 1993, they serve to emphasize other histories that are more related to the 2001 attacks; namely, the history of Muslim extremism and its American targets, and a retrospective of the towers themselves, in particular, their engineering and placement in both the New York skyline and American popular culture. 	  	  50	  the ways in which mourning is always preoccupied, in some way, with a desire to reclaim a trace of what has been lost. Martin Heidegger refers to this as alētheia, which “signifies the concealing and revealing work of memory: we remember traces only – the remains of what we have forgotten” (Engle 25). The memorial genre of museums, in particular, represents an emotional and lucrative attempt to mediate collective or cultural loss by inviting visitors to witness and vicariously experience the suffering of others or, in some cases, revisit their own suffering, as if as a stranger. One particular strand of this memorial “mania” is ideally suited to unpacking what increasingly reveal themselves to be spectral traces that function within the September 11 Memorial and Museum. “Dark” tourism – or “Thanatourism”14 offers a brand of museum tourism premised on the especially gloomy or even eerie aspects of memorial culture. Despite being built below ground and in the foundations of the towers that remain, quite literally, a tomb, the 9/11 Museum, however, only admits some of these elements into its displays and any of the more haunting aspects of the site are included only to add emphasis to the notion of Ground Zero as a sacred site and to reinforce the dominant narrative of memorialization and heroism rather than invite questioning of what these spectral traces might mean. Indeed, there are figures of hospitality – specters, things “out of 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  14 Phillip Stone defines thanatourism as “alluding to a sense of apparent disturbing practices and morbid products (and experiences) within the tourism domain…dark tourism may be referred to as the act of travel to sites associated with death, suffering and the seemingly macabre” (“Dark Tourism Spectrum” 146). This form of tourism is premised on a heightened interest in death, torture and suffering that are the result of real-life scenarios. The concept of thanatourism is especially useful in tracing the more ambiguous figures of hospitality at the former World Trade Center site precisely because, like dark tourist sites, the deaths represented in displays, monuments and memorials are not at all real deaths, they are “(re)created deaths” (Stone, “Dark Tourism Experiences” 25). In the twentieth century, there has been a lofty increase in tourist interest surrounding things related to death, and thus dark tourism signifies “a fundamental shift in the way in which death, disaster and atrocity are being handled by those who offer associated tourism ‘products’” (Lennon and Foley 3). Thanatourism has a particular influence on the viewer that brings the museum visitor into conversations that become compellingly spectral in the context of 9/11 culture and the encounter with strangeness. As Seaton and Lennon suggest, “the media and tourism offer opportunities for legitimate, vicarious contact with death, and through it, imaginative meditation on mortality” (69). Significant to this project, then, Stone refers to dark tourism as a “mediating experience” that links the living with the dead (“Dark Tourism Experiences” 25). 	  	  51	  place” and odd remnants – at work in the September 11 Memorial and Museum that are not entirely recognizable and perhaps not even welcome. The site is permeated by a sense of strangeness, not only in the more eerie or macabre rhetoric of a sacred burial ground but in less obvious figures of dust, sacrament, invisibility and virtuality. The site itself, as built into the ground in uncharacteristic contrast to the surrounding cityscape, plays on notions of what is visible and what is hidden and prompts queries into what lingers, or even perhaps haunts, below the surface of things. Hospitality in this context, then, traverses a number of strange concerns that make and unmake the borders between living and dead, presence and absence. And while these concerns may seem abstract and distant from the visceral and physical realities of real human loss, they are vital components to an understanding of the ways in which 9/11, commemoration, and the notion of “terror” in general have transformed both the meaning and the practice of hospitality.  2.2.1 Hospitality in the Memorial Quadrant: Freedom Tower and Reflecting Absence Certainly, the exhibits in the museum, as well as the processes by which those exhibits take shape, suggest that the museum often fails to extend a hospitable welcome to certain figures and narratives of memorialization. Yet is there more to the discourse of haunting than the museum itself allows that might offer a way of thinking the question of hospitality outside of its apparent failures? The incorporation of street memorials into the museum’s exhibits alert us to the ways in which hospitality is limited – any process of selection with limit or condition is, after all, is inhospitable – but this does not render the entire site inhospitable. Indeed, arriving at the site, even before entering the museum, we are greeted by other figures of strangeness, discourses of welcome and invitation that 	  	  52	  suggest the museum may be more deeply and more surprisingly invested in an ethics of hospitality than at first thought. It is the memorial quadrant, in particular, with its soaring tower and sunken fountains, that initiates thinking about the complexities of less conventional and even, at times, uncomfortable hospitality. Perhaps the most visibly striking aspect of the memorial design is the towering World Trade Center one – also known unofficially as Freedom Tower – designed to stand 1776 feet above the city in stark contrast to the sunken memorial pools which reach downward and constitute what Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimlett calls “negative space” (12). “Freedom Tower” suggests a rising out of ruins at the same time as it pays homage to the splendor and scale of the twin towers. To be sure, the rhetoric of sacrament and holiness that has dominated recovery and reconstruction efforts is certainly not a new way of characterizing the Trade Centre’s most prolific structures. In The Practice of Everyday Life, written long before the towers’ collapse, Michel de Certeau reflects on the World Trade Center, suggesting “the tallest towers in the world compose a gigantic rhetoric of excess in both expenditure and production” (91). De Certeau’s description is not unlike that which might be used to refer to the great cathedrals, particularly as he describes one’s position in the towers as being “like a god” (92). Interestingly, however, the destruction of the site has not resulted in the absence or banishment of God but, rather, has Christianized it further. The presence of towers in Lower Manhattan has always invoked a kind of nationalized spiritualism and perhaps it is no coincidence that the site is bordered by both Church and Liberty streets. The ways in which the former towers are both reduced and, at the same time, heightened to a humanized kind of loss as well as the oscillating need for a hallowed site versus an economic revival situates the construction of Freedom Tower in a complex position of having to account for the political, spiritual, economic, and symbolic needs of a 	  	  53	  population still becoming acquainted with the new skyline. Marita Sturken hints at this impasse when she notes that “the idea of architecture as renewal was seen to be in conflict with the sense of Ground Zero as a sacred site of loss” (“Tourists” 233). Yet the construction of a tower that is part functional, part memorial and meant to invoke the patriotic and the spiritual, works to provide a sense of the haunting former towers at the same time as it suggests a step forward into a new economic and patriotic renaissance. Yet it is the spire affixed to the top of Freedom Tower which, when added to the already spectacular scale of the building, represents not only a display of economic grandeur and revitalization but also an expressive religious patriotism. Moreover, in its primary function as a television antenna, this spire broadcasts more than news and entertainment frequencies. Not only is this display suggestive of the ways in which America has long been haunted by the ghosts of religious zealotry; it continually pays homage to this ghostly presence by highlighting the “spire” or “skeletal steeple” (Nash 191) of the Tower using language that is saturated with spectral metaphors.  While it calls to mind the relationship between religion, nationalism, and capitalism in the process of memorialization, Freedom Tower also recalls some crucial tensions that inadvertently reveal the centrality of hospitality to the site. This relationship between the tower and the complex workings of hospitality is often invoked through the language used to describe the building itself. Architect Daniel Libeskind, for example, promotes his concept of open fretwork on the tower as incorporating not just sky or air but a “world” above. He describes it as “this very open, ethereal building that lets light right through it’” (qtd. in Nash 191). Yet, at the same time, Libeskind recognizes a kind of danger in “opening” the building – and, by extension, the people and the spiritualized and patriotic ideologues within it – to exposure. The danger, he explains, is a spiritual one that 	  	  54	  outweighs the functional uses of the structure itself: “Nobody really needs skyscrapers, but there is something visceral and spiritual to put yourself at risk from the cosmos” (Libeskind qtd. in Nash 191). Libeskind’s words here seem to acknowledge, if not the necessity, then the inherent instability of an architecture designed to open itself and its inhabitants up to the cosmos, an architecture of hospitality that, understood as a practice, relies precisely on risk rather than surety. As Derrida reminds us, the foreigner who arrives (either as corporeal or cosmological guest) is one who “encroaches…on my sovereignty…the other becomes a hostile subject and I run the risk of becoming their hostage” (Of Hospitality 55). Sturken also invokes this language when she describes what is perhaps an unconscious desire underlying the design and construction of Freedom Tower which, while beautiful, is meant to shelter from the potential of another terrorist attack. It is a beacon of the revitalization of the economy and the American spirit yet is simultaneously an impenetrable fortress. As Sturken suggests, “Freedom Tower will most likely end up being a symbol not of U.S. power, but of its fear, deeply embodying the new aesthetics of security” (“Tourists” 254). Yet security, as Renée Jeffery claims, is the antithesis of hospitality. In her words, “the very possibility of hospitality rests on the idea that hosts and guests must grant each other the benefit of the doubt, trusting without basis that the unknown other will not cause them harm” (Jeffery 126). Freedom tower, then, seems to contradict itself – opening to risk while, at the same time, closing itself to attack – and ultimately raises a question prompted by its very name and so crucial to the ethics of an unconditional welcome: freedom for and from whom? Libeskind’s descriptive language certainly alerts us to the possibilities of hospitality as an opening of oneself to risk yet the tower, as a beacon of (fortified and protectionist) freedom, ultimately exposes a dominant patriotism and spiritualism rather than a kind of vulnerability that might inspire a new way of thinking about hosting others. 	  	  55	  Nevertheless, it reveals a particular orientation towards thinking about hospitality that suggests the arrival of strangers and others remains a deep concern and, crucially, hints at the arrival of an other that we cannot prepare for anymore than we can see it coming.  2.2.2 Reflecting Absence Arriving at the site via subway in Fall 201415, my visit16 to the museum required I walk around the entire World Trade Center site and access the memorial quadrant from the side opposite the museum’s entry pavilion. I then walked between both the North and South tower footprints to reach the crowded stanchions that held those waiting to be admitted into the museum and that organized visitors according to entry time. Designated time slots make it difficult to linger at the fountains or in the memorial gardens unless one makes plans to do so in advance. Yet even glanced at briefly before entering the modern and reflective entry pavilion, the surface level memorial offers compelling context for the museum that awaits. While the exhibits below the surface fill the space left by the towers with a thoughtful, spacious, and beautiful network of ramps, pathways, exhibition rooms, and hallways – an overall stunning repurposing of space – the sunken memorial pools seem to highlight a sense of loss and make literal the profound emptiness of what once was. It is an emptiness that is virtually impossible to miss as it highlights a tremendous and conspicuous void.  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  15 It is worth note that upon completion of the new WTC “PATH” (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) transportation hub, many visitors to the site will not encounter the memorial before entering the museum. The station is directly adjacent to the museum entrance and will not require visitors to walk through the memorial quadrant to access the museum itself, although guests may still choose to enter the museum by walking around the block and entering via Liberty and West Streets, or by Fulton Street at the base of World Trace Center One. 16 The observations and details noted in this chapter are derived from museum planning documents and articles written on the development of the site, but also from my own visit to the museum, on October 17, 2014. 	  	  56	  It is in this sprit of contemplation and almost seclusion (despite the large crowds wandering around the grounds) that the most prominent feature of the memorial quadrant appears and reveals the need for a deeper investigation of hospitality at the site – one that is not concerned solely with the limits to a political welcome of strangers but explores the relationship between hospitality and mourning in more (literal) depth. The official memorial was designed by architects Michael Arad and Peter Walker, whose proposal was selected from a group of over 5200 entries from 63 nations as part of a design competition hosted by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC). It is carved directly into the footprints of the former towers and consists of four walls of water that fall into giant pools. The edges of these granite pools are inscribed with the names of victims from the September 11th attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, as well as those who lost their lives in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. Perhaps simple in comparison to other structures at the site, the memorial – much like Freedom Tower, calls up a particularly spectral notion of hospitality in both its spatial configuration and its name. Called “Reflecting Absence,” the memorial suggests not only a contemplative space, but a space that recognizes its own void. Its haunting title invokes the presence of something felt but not seen, of loss and, most importantly, a vacuum that can never be filled. Haskins and DeRose note that “a memorial is…a material expression of mourning for lost lives and opportunities…[it is also] a stage for cathartic closure and critical reckoning” (278). Yet what happens when the process of mourning and remembering involves something that, according to its very structure, cannot be closed? Indeed, the abysmal openness of the pools reflects a wound that can never be sutured and thus a critical lack of surety, comfort and sense that other aspects of the memorial site (the tower, for instance) seek to foster. Where the security and patriotism of the tower foreclose on the possibility of an unconditional 	  	  57	  welcomes to strangeness, “Reflecting Absence” opens to a notion of hospitality – though perhaps not the one that is expected – by acknowledging that what has been made strange can never be reconciled. Indeed, it speaks convincingly to a disorienting loss – an enduring figure of difference that is so crucial to hospitality. Moreover, so long as the pools remain voids in the landscape and are not covered, they will testify to the ongoing wounding of that loss, rather than the healing that would be representable by a kind of scar. The distinction is an important one for hospitality. As Richard Kearney puts it, in his lecture on “Narrative Imagination and Catharsis,” “while the wounds remain timeless and unrepresentable, scars are the marks left on the flesh to be seen, touched, told and read” (“Narrative”). This permanent wounding and resistance to scarring is an intentional feature in the memorial landscape that suggests an openness to unending trauma, even a hospitality to loss, that is in keeping with the ethic of hospitality espoused by Kearney, Derrida, Levinas and others. That is, it opens itself to the ongoing risk of letting trauma in rather than trying to cordon it off or reconcile it within familiar structures of understanding. It remains a testament to the utter distinctiveness of a loss that, while often manifesting in the form of American exceptionalism, demands a hospitable recognition of trauma’s strange singularity. The pools offer a new way of thinking about the presence of hospitality and offer an invitation to another kind of strangeness. Yet more than challenge the way hospitality is understood, the reflecting pools alert us to a series of crucial questions about what lays beneath the “surface” of hospitality. What kinds of encounters, for example, are faced when venturing even deeper into the memorial site and into the underground museum itself? Are there other figures of hospitality and strangeness within the text of the museum that the underground museum alerts us to? Surely the museum has a rigorous screening process for the items it includes and emphasizes a very particular narrative of events, often 	  	  58	  at the expense of other narratives. Yet what of the displays themselves – the strange passages, curious absences, odd juxtapositions and artifacts that seem generally out-of-place, either in the structural flow of the museum or in their detachments from the bodies that once gave them animation? In other words, where in the museum might we read other incidences of invitation or exclusion, things that seem foreign or odd, and find “guests” that show up uninvited and unannounced?  2.3 Hospitality Unearthed: Cryptic Remains While the museum itself is housed underground, it is entered via a bright atrium at ground level. Described by Craig Dykers, its principal architect, this entry “pavilion” is intended to provide a transition from the “future” of the outdoor memorial to the “past” that is the largely historical purpose of the museum: “Our building is about the present moment in time. It is the bridge between these two abstract worlds” (Dykers qtd. in Ryan). My own experience of entry, however, is more rushed than reflective, and, as visitors file in and passes are scanned, there is little room for a sustained “transition” between these worlds. After walking through the memorial quadrant, I am greeted by a complex network of black security stanchions, with signs directing me to entry lines for the “top” and “bottom” of the hour. Choosing the correct line, I weave back and forth until I reach the museum personnel waiting to confirm my entry time before admitting me into the pavilion. Once inside, the pavilion looks less like a transitional bridge, however, and more like an airport screening station. Security personnel wear the same light blue uniform of the museum’s general staff – on the whole, not unlike the royal blue hue of the familiar TSA uniforms found in airports across the United States. The museum officer instructs me to place my bag on a belt to be x-rayed as I step through a sophisticated full body scanner. It is a perhaps necessary but 	  	  59	  nonetheless jarring disruption from the transition described by Dykers, although the museum is designed in such a way that the screening process is fairly removed from the actual exhibition space. Indeed, once security is cleared, I descend into the dimly lit caverns and corridors of the museum’s exhibitions that are both serene and beautiful. The last set of stairs leading from the entrance to the main landing and information area parallels the “survivors’ staircase” that is not operational but provides a chilling reminder of the number of people who used those steps when the elevators in the towers became impassable, not to mention conjuring the familiar images of firefighters running up. At the bottom of these stairs, I encounter the first series of displays – a photograph of the towers as they were minutes before the first plane hit, a virtual timeline of events, and the digital recording of survivor and witness memories. The corridor is crowded here, and as I walk through slowly, I am, in Adi Robertson’s words, “greeted [by] fragments of speech” that detail the experiences of those on the ground, as well as those watching television and hearing about the attacks via telephone (Robertson). The experience begins with the date, September 11, 2001 being spoken by multiple people, predominantly in English, in voices that layer over one another. These voices then describe where they were as the attacks took place, each description culminating in the phrase “twin towers” which echoes repeatedly. Key phrases are emphasized as witnesses describe what they see and feel. They express disbelief: “This is really happening” and “impossible, impossible, impossible” in French; emotion: “I was so angry…I never felt so alone and lost”; and they make references to the end of history: “As if time had stopped…the world had stopped…what was going to happen next” with the words  “stopped…stopped…stopped” echoing behind as visitors move through the chamber (Robertson).  	  	  60	  The initial experience of the museum is certainly different than a visit to the surface memorial as the names etched into the granite walls begin to reanimate. Yet it is these very first moments underground that suggests the museum is defined by a provocative and haunting discourse of hospitality – one that can be interrogated in many of the museum’s exhibits. For the first time, I acutely register that this crowd of people is shuffling deeper into what essentially remains a crypt. While such spaces are traditionally housed within cathedrals, the language used to describe Ground Zero has been riddled with the language of the crypt. In both the public and political expressions of mourning following 9/11, the site is often referred to as a cemetery, burial ground, or final resting place. As former mayor Rudolph Giuliani argues in his editorial for the anniversary edition of Time in September 2002, “Ground zero is a cemetery. It is the last resting place for loved ones whose bodies were not recovered and whose remains are still within that hallowed ground” (“Getting It Right at Ground Zero”). Somewhat distinct from the housing of tangible remains within conventional crypts, the museum crypt is an especially fraught place of burial, particularly because the space was not intentionally created to house the remains of victims; instead, it was carved out in the very process of their demise. The crypt, in fact, was what killed them. Lee Clarke, too, reflects on this ambiguity: “There were piles of dirt and debris around where the digging was going on, as if they were digging a giant grave, although, of course, you dig a grave to put a body in it rather than to get one out of it” (203). According to Clarke, the former World Trade Center site is “purely frightening. Not just because so many people died there, but because almost all those people were still there, in pieces or in spirit. It was frightening to think that so many people had been there but now even their bodies were nowhere” (202). It is this ambiguous and even disturbing function of remains at the site that extends a compelling invitation to think about how hospitality might 	  	  61	  continue to operate in the crypt of the museum, even when its more conventional operations are limited by patriotic sentiment and political exclusion. To be sure, there are a number of ways in which the museum engages and/or disavows an ethic of hospitality, which I will address in what follows. Yet I begin in this crypt, where hospitality makes its two most significant gestures, through the cordoning off of human remains that refuse to go unnoticed and in the unlikely placement of artifacts that are displayed in an extraordinarily out-of-place fashion.  2.3.1 Foundation Hall and the Hiding of Human Remains  The 9/11 Museum, without question, is unequivocally dedicated to the memory of the heroes and victims of the terrorist attacks and offers a narrative heavily invested in the memory of the dead whom, we are made to feel, still exist in the grand passages and exhibition chambers and whose presence can be felt on the personal items such as shoes, watches and wallets that bear so much human trace. There are traces, however, that refuse to be contained in the displays themselves. Indeed, in its capacity as a crypt, the museum offers a place for the dead to rest but cannot account for where they might be within the cavernous space. Indeed, how certain can one be, in the presence of so many microscopic traces, that all have been accounted for and are not still lingering in the bedrock, dust-covered exhibits, and cavernous atmosphere seven stories beneath the ground? As such, the museum conjures a particularly haunted imagery that serves to render the site both sacred and terrifying and, while the storage of human remains on site raises significant possibilities for the work of hospitality, the combination of sacrament and fear also manifests in an anti-hospitable cordoning off of the site from other purposes. This particular crypt, in other words, is reserved and closed to any kind of trauma or loss not 	  	  62	  associated with the 9/11 attacks. Even when bodies cannot be found and identified, the site remains dedicated to the purpose of their commemoration and burial; this crypt, in short, is only for the “innocent” 9/11 dead. Yet what does it mean that this crypt is afforded sacred status only as a resting place for those specific victims? What crypts, remains, memories are elided in this process and deemed un-sacred as a result? Surely there have been other deaths on that site and while bodies were likely recovered in those instances, 9/11 remains are not the first to be contained in that space, nor did the historical and archival spaces of the original towers contain artifacts of only American importance. In fact, they also acted as a storage facility for materials from a number of other cultures that were destroyed when the towers fell. Kirshenblatt-Gimlett, in particular, laments the loss of materials excavated from, among other places, an eighteenth century African-American burial ground that was found to have an original location somewhere in the vicinity of the World Trade Center complex (24).17 Some 1600 boxes of historical artifacts from this excavation were kept in Tower Six of the World Trade Center – also known as the former U.S. Custom’s House. Most of these were destroyed by the damage suffered by the building in the Twin Towers collapse and, even after recovery efforts, most of the contents of these boxes could not be retrieved (“African Burial Ground”). The lack of certainty regarding which remains and traces of life are conclusively lingering in the burial ground of the museum raises a problem 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  17 While the burial ground in question did not occupy the exact space of the towers, it was located in Lower Manhattan and the items excavated from the site were stored in 6 World Trade Center, destroyed by debris from the North Tower and later demolished. According to a Washington, D.C. based Heritage Preservation organization, the burial ground was discovered in 1991 and included over 400 skeletal remains along with thousands of artifacts (“African Burial Ground”). While the majority of the biological remains are stored in a lab at Howard University, most of the other artifacts were housed at the Trade Center site. Still, the presence of archeological items rather than human remains does not necessarily mean that these “ghosts” or “souls” reside elsewhere – indeed, my discussion of the remains of 9/11 victims is not on their materiality. Rather, I am reading these items with or without the material DNA of biological remains in regards to the spectral presence produced by remnant objects. 	  	  63	  for dominant understandings of the site in which the space is seen exclusively as a 9/11 resting place. What might it mean, then, to read the memorial as a crypt not only for victims of September 11th, but victims of another historical tragedy that is elided by the spectacle of the specific devastation known as 9/11? It would seem that the sacred space of the crypt functions to elide certain historical realities in the service of a more streamlined and patriotic message, a move that can be considered inhospitable in terms of the lack of welcome extended to these artifacts and the merely conditional inclusion of others. Yet these remains, regardless of historical referent, are there; they linger despite attempts to limit, disavow or contain them in official exhibits. As the historical presence of an African Burial Ground – that sacred space before 9/11 – reveals, the significance of a museum at Ground Zero for thinking about a hospitality to and of the dead has a more complicated relationship to the museum’s design than visitors may immediately suspect. After descending below the initial landing area and gallery of voice recordings, visitors wind down a series of mezzanine ramps that look down over Foundation Hall, a vast and open space housing physical artifacts and digital displays against the backdrop of the original slurry wall.18 As I exit the ramp into the main exhibition space, the ground levels into what the museum maps refer to as “Center Passage,” a space in which the main exhibit is a massive art installation that covers the entire central wall connecting the North and South tower exhibitions. The only commissioned piece of art for the museum, Trying To Remember the Color of the Sky on 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  18 One of the only structural components of the World Trade Center site to remain somewhat in tact, the slurry wall is a massive retaining barrier meant to protect the towers’ foundation and PATH subway lines from the Hudson River. While the wall did not collapse as the towers did, it was weakened and received much needed reinforcement – the bulk of which was completely in time to prevent Hurricane Sandy from flooding the almost completed museum in 2012 (Dunlap).  	  	  64	  That September Morning, by Spencer Finch, is created from 2,983 hand painted sheets of Italian paper – the number of total victims from the 1993 and 2001 attacks (Cascone). Visitors take in the sheer volume of the installation, the poignancy of the Virgil quote incorporated into its design – “No day shall erase you from the memory of time” – and the diversity of cool tones that represent the imagination of New Yorkers looking at the sky that September morning. Meant to represent the lives lost on 9/11, these individual panels of paper offer a symbolic gesture toward the museum site as a final resting place. What is not immediately obvious (and, for some, never known) is what is behind the wall: an actual crypt that houses the dead. Stored since 2001 in a Manhattan medical examiner’s office, the as-yet unidentified human remains of 9/11 victims were transferred on May 10, 2014 in a ceremonial procession to the 9/11 Museum and their “final resting place” (Farrell) – a 2,500 square foot repository behind the massive art installation and inaccessible to the public (“Remains Repository”).  While the actual lab cannot be accessed as part of the museum tour, it is adjoined by a reflection room where family members can gain access, by appointment, to the general repository but not to the remains themselves. In the original museum design, the repository wall was to be marked by an empty urn meant to represent the traces of unidentified victims, a display that Williams calls “the cloaking of human remains” (45). The urn would have operated as a curious distraction device, meant to conjure a particular kind of spirit – one guided by the assumption that the urn contains the remains of those the museum intends to commemorate. The decision to include not an urn but, rather, a large-scale art piece, with no overt reference to the repository behind it, has a far more fascinating outcome. While the urn would certainly refer to the physical presence of unidentified bodies in some way, the art installation is symbolic of lives lost but not of bodies hidden 	  	  65	  only steps away. In this sense, the wall functions as a kind of sleight-of-hand, shielding visitors from the reality that not only are the bodies of 9/11 victims stored on site – and quite possibly not only victims19 – but that officials do not know exactly which remains they are still sorting through. Fewer than 300 intact bodies were recovered after the terrorist attacks and nearly 20,000 pieces of victims were recovered from the wreckage – 6000 of these pieces small enough to fit into a test tube (Williams 43).20 As of the Museum’s opening date in May 2014, of the 2,753 people reported missing at the World Trade Center alone, 1,115 are still not identified, yet 7,930 individual remains fragments are housed in the repository (Farrell). Where DNA testing has not been successful in identifying particular remains, grieving families have been given a small urn of dust in place of a body to bury. There is, of course, no telling if these urns contain actual human biological trace and, if they do, what or whose trace that might be. It is a prospect that surely confirms the museum as hallowed and haunted ground, but also one that speaks powerfully to the incorporation of an unbidden and perhaps unwelcome other. The spectral scenario offered up by the repository wall – its ambiguity, indiscernible materiality and ghostly implications – conjures a particular kind of hospitality that runs deeper and is more haunting than that which is practiced on the surface of the museum. No longer is the presence or absence of hospitality being measured against the exclusion of particular guests from the site or the increased surveillance tactics inspired by the design of 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  19 The nature of unidentified remains – particularly remains that exist as the result of a suicidal terrorist attack – raises a chilling prospect that such remains could be those of the hijackers themselves. This is a possibility that will be explored in much greater depth in Chapter 5, where I address the traumatic incorporation of alterity in Don DeLillo’s Falling Man. 20 These remains were transferred from their storage facility to their permanent home at the museum on May 10, 2014. This process was marked with ceremony and solemnity. 7930 individual and unidentified remains contained in three coffin-size steel cases were carried by Fire Department, Police Department and Port Authority vehicles in a slow procession to the museum (Farrell). 	  	  66	  Freedom Tower. It is also suggestive of more than the conditional inclusion of certain histories and tributes into the official museum displays. The inclusion of human remains at the site is, on some levels, a simultaneous disavowal of particular remains yet it is also, on a deeper level, a removal of any conditions for welcome; that is, the museum must be hospitable to all remains, or to none at all. The implications of this are significant, particularly in terms of the likelihood that each urn or lab sample might contain remains of victims of a number of different nationalities and cultures, not to mention the possibility of those remains being mixed together with those of the hijackers themselves. It is a chilling prospect, to be sure, but one that has intimate and irrevocable ties to the work of hospitality. According to Derrida, “nothing could be worse, for the work of mourning, than confusion or doubt; one has to know who is buried where – and it is necessary (to know – to make certain) that, in what remains of him, he remain there” (Specters 9). As Derrida points out, mourning is challenged when the remains of loved ones cannot be identified or distinguished from one another, but even more so when such remains fail to do what their namesake suggests – that is, to stay in their proper place. Indeed, these particular remains, in so many case buried for months under the rubble of the towers, have not rested since the day of the attacks and have been moved from Ground Zero, to Fresh Kills landfill, to the Medical Examiner’s office in Manhattan and, finally, back to the museum. The entire process suggests that the final resting place for 9/11 victims is anything but final and the storage of these remains is permeated with uncertainty.  What has been lost in these 14 years of movement between locations – in the sifting and sorting, the extraction of DNA and the cleaning of bones? Equally as disconcerting, what has been gained? What particles, dust, refuse, cleaning solutions, and remnants of human touch have been added in this long process? These remains, in other words, never simply remain, and nor are they only 	  	  67	  remains. The exhibition of remains, thus, must be thought of as an unintentional but nonetheless unconditional hospitality to whatever or whoever’s remains might arrive, whether by official transfer or not, and what trace particles and parasites accompany them. Moreover, the word “remains” itself suggests not only a piece or part of something that was once much larger; it refers more emphatically to what is leftover – a term more often given to what is unwanted, residual or discarded. Interestingly, however, these remains have been welcomed and, while attempts have certainly been made to identify them, this has not become a condition of their entry. They are included, without a name, and without the assurance that they could be distinguished between guest and hostile. The presence of remains, thus, has significant implications for thinking about how hospitality does operate at the memorial site – despite the surface tactics that seem to render the notion of an unconditional welcome impossible – and in ways that are perhaps at odds with how we are accustomed to seeing hospitality exercised. It would seem that the traces of the dead offer an especially complex figure of hospitality, particularly when, as Derrida infers, these remains do not remain – that is, when they are found not only in the carefully demarcated displays and offices in the museum, but also in the other exhibits, staircases, walls and even atmospheric ether of the entire memorial site, from Tower to Crypt. The uncontained trace of victims, the notion of unidentified remains, and the fear and ambiguity that accompanies the denotation of the entire site as a crypt or final resting place suggests that the presence of spectral traces are not limited to the sanctioned displays of the museum. Indeed, there are traces that cannot be accounted for, even in the specially designed containers through which they are welcomed and incorporated into formal narratives of memorialization where they cannot surprise or interrupt. To be sure, the planning committee attempts to acknowledge the “implications of presenting artifacts in the 	  	  68	  Museum that, because of the particular, historical circumstances of 9/11, include a range of objects that might, potentially, contain microscopic traces of human remains, whether in dust or other forms” (“Human Remains” 3), yet the emphasis of such sensitivities continues to be tethered to the material and the scientifically discernable – a hunt for fact and certainty that the sheer numbers of unidentified remains defy. In the absence of bodies to identify and claim, this dust becomes a substitute, a symbolic or spectral presence, but also something that can be held, felt, and, when placed in an urn for safe keeping, feels weighty in hand. Indeed, this seems to be the impetus behind allowing families of unidentified victims to take from the site, an urn filled with symbolic ash along with a “certificate of presumed death” to give families both a sense of closure and a document necessary for practical realities of loss (P. Doss 16). The gift of a symbolic urn does not replace a body, but it gives gravity and form to an otherwise ephemeral and sublimated abstraction. As Sturken notes, “[o]nce it became clear that very few people had survived the cataclysmic collapse of the two buildings, the dust was defined not simply as the refuse of the towers’ destruction, but also as the material remains of the bodies of the dead” that are necessary for the process of grief (“Aesthetics” 312). While the urn given to family members may have fulfilled this material need, I want to think about the dust inside in a more philosophical sense, as a spectral presence that signals an ethic of hospitality, particularly when it is not contained in an urn or sterile lab. Dust can be read as an expression of hospitality in terms of immateriality and uncertainly rather than its symbolic yet materially imbued reassurance. There is safety in storing such dust in defined exhibits and sealed urns, a security that may distract from the reality that dust has been floating around uncontained at the site since the towers collapsed. It may be a crude realization, but it must also be considered that those close to the site in both its recovery and rebuilding stages have 	  	  69	  already encountered more of this dust than they ever will in the sanctioned spaces of the museum. What might it mean, then, considering its status as a “replacement” or “stand-in” for material bodies, to open one’s life and process of memorialization to an incorporation of dust when it is never fully known if the dust in question is worthy or hazardous or even whose dust one is surrounded by? Indeed, this is the contradiction that lies at the heart of hospitality – the question of whether that which is being welcomed in has come to do harm or good –a question I will return to in Chapter Four where I take up the literal and figurative metaphor of organic shrapnel as a symbol of how we are embedded within the lives of others.  The presence of dust at the former Trade Center site is certainly acknowledged and the phenomenon is explored in depth in terms of its relationship to health and contamination but not in terms of its implications for the work of hospitality. The ghostly presence of the dust surrounding, blanketing, and lingering at Ground Zero following the collapse of the towers has dominated many readings of the recovery effort and it has been referenced in terms of both the towers and the human victims. Yet in both symbolic thought and literal memorial, the separation of human and architectural dust is almost impossible. One notorious example of the intertwining of both is the “Tribute in Light” memorial which dominated the New York skyline from March 11 until April 13, 2002 to mark the six-month anniversary of the attacks. Shooting powerful beams of light up from the tower’s footprints and into the sky, this temporary memorial was referred to as the “Phantom Towers” and the two beams have been described by Julian LaVerdiere, one of the artists involved as “ghost limbs [that] we can feel…even though they’re not there anymore” (in Kirshenblatt-Gimlett 39). Indeed, the towers certainly appear to be there but exist not as steel and concrete but in “incandescent dust,” a spectral rendering of the “pulverized 	  	  70	  towers” in “beams of light” (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 39). While it could be argued that the tribute memorializes the towers rather than the dead, it nonetheless operates as what Sturken calls “a ghostly shadow of the past” (“Tourists” 226) that raises questions about the function of dust itself as both spectral and material. Unlike the dust that is contained in symbolic urns on display and given to victims’ families, the dust that permeates the site itself is far more ambiguous. It is always present but only made apparent when illuminated and the light appears to gather the particles together as if there is still some life force in them that is drawn to or re-animated by the beam. Thus, the dust collected in the form of the towers is not only residual debris but, rather, a collection of material in decay, the implications of which are both exciting – to think there once was and perhaps still is “life” amidst so much death – and alarming. As Patricia Yaeger writes, “[d]etritus is frightening and animated” (191, my emphasis), a description that gives dust eerily anthropomorphic qualities. Indeed, while dust signifies the transparent and fleeting character of potential human and structural remains, it also is tangibly material in the ways that it clings to shoes, clothing and hair, and infects lungs with its very real particular hazards. This dust is complicated and unsettling. It is “simultaneously ashes, refuse, evidence, and a fatal contaminant. Its status remains ambiguous and troubling” (Sturken, “Tourists” 166), and it contradicts the notion of dust as a material means by which to grieve and compensate for the loss of a loved one. Not only does the unidentified nature of the dust resist the certainly and closure that comes from knowing who is represented by those particles; it also challenges the status of the dust as a component of healing.  It turns potential hostiles into guests while rendering victims possible hostile contaminants.  Those who receive this dust, even as willing hosts, are inadvertently opening themselves to the possibility of more grief and less closure. In other words, the presence of dust suggests that symbolic remains of a 	  	  71	  loved one could also carry severe consequences – not only in terms of dust’s status as “refuse” (each urn likely contains various forms of debris21 rather than human remains) but in the threat it poses to the health of whoever accepts it.  Yet to receive the dust in a spirit of hospitality is to receive the risk that accompanies it. For those who visited the site following the attacks, this possibility was not abstract. Kirshenblatt-Gimlett acknowledges this in her own visit to Ground Zero: “We breathed that dust and inhaled particles of the dead that floated in the air” (25). Yet the implications of this were not immediately apparent. As Sturken reveals, “dust was initially understood as a substance that had to be cleaned away so that life could continue…[then] later produc[ed] what became known as the ‘World Trade cough,’ now understood to be a symptom of debilitating and potentially fatal respiratory disease” (“Tourists” 178).22 Dust, then, functions on many sides of the guest/host relation. While readily welcomed as guest via its containment in a symbolic urn, it also functions as a “host” – or a conduit of human memory – and even, at times, as a “hostile”, actively limiting life rather than affirming it. Dust demonstrates, par excellence, the danger and ambiguity of hospitality. It is the revenant that, pushed to the periphery, excluded from ritual and contained in the crypt, always returns and often does so in another form entirely. Sturken suggests that dust “is about circularity, the impossibility of things disappearing, or going away, or being gone” (“Tourists” 180). One can never fully banish the healing nor the hazardous aspects of this 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  21 Indeed, much of the material used to fill the symbolic urns came from the tons of debris that were sifted and sorted at Fresh Kills landfill, on Staten Island.  While the name of this site, originally a repository for household and industrial garbage, is derived from the Fresh Kills estuary close by, it conjures an unfortunate allusion to both waste and death. Many relatives of 9/11 victims continue to believe that the landfill still contains human remains mixed in with the pulverized steel and concrete from the towers, making Fresh Kills (and plans to revitalize it as a memorial park) “the world’s most controversial trash heap” (DePalma). 22 The Trade Center cough, as well as a number of other ailments though to be caused by the dust from 9/11 will be explored in much greater depth in Chapter Five. 	  	  72	  dusty presence; it may return as welcome guest or ghost, but it will find a way in. If hospitality is concerned with measures of concealment, limited contact and security, then the figure of dust offers a compelling way to think about how risk becomes not the antithesis but, rather, the necessity of an unconditional ethic of welcome. It is the attempt to banish or contain the otherness of figures like dust that thwarts the possibility of hospitable relations. As Jean-Michel Rabaté notes, “‘modern’ philosophy has always attempted to bury [its] irrational Other in some neat crypt, forgetting that it would thereby lead to further ghostly reapparitions” (qtd. in Luckhurst 80). Indeed, the many functions of dust reveal that when the other is either confined to the crypt, as a tidy way of presenting the containment of the dead, or when certain ghosts are uprooted from the crypts they have always occupied, they return in other forms to haunt anew and, as the presence of a single brick from Abbottabad Pakistan reveals, in the most unsettling and unexpected ways.  2.3.2 Unlikely Cryptfellows As a crypt, the 9/11 museum also inadvertently engages with remains that administrators and politicians would likely prefer to keep buried, even while they stand on obvious display. While the art installation, although shrouding the presence of human remains on site, still speaks symbolically to the human loss of 9/11, there is another exhibit – a brick from a compound in Pakistan – that relies so heavily on the banishment of other ghosts and histories in order to function alongside the larger narrative of the museum. It is this sense of disavowed spectrality that Anne McClintock points to in her reading of the historical ghosts of 9/11 and the War on Terror. She asks, “what secret in the crypt of the past had so forcefully to be forgotten? What inadmissible trauma rose like an unmourned revenant to haunt the tragic ruins of the Twin Towers? (McClintock 820). Although 	  	  73	  McClintock is speaking here to a wider terrain of spectral omission – the ghosting of imperial histories of violence and exploitation from indigenous cultural genocide, to Hiroshima, to the War on Terror – her argument can be extended in the context of the 9/11 Museum, of which she does not speak but that nonetheless draws attention to a similar discourse of absence. While the museum is punctuated by these moments of “inadmission,” particularly with regards to the essentialization of 9/11 as an American tragedy, McClintock points to a provocative question regarding the possibility of hospitality: What happens when the display of an item representative of American military violence tries to frame history in a direct and amnesic kind of way but instead conjures a ghost far removed from the museum’s official mandate and purpose? This is precisely the case in the display of a single brick from Osama Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound. It is placed alongside a Navy Seal uniform and is intended to be a symbol of both those responsible for the attacks and ultimately America’s victory over them; unintentionally, however, it offers much more. Continuing along the most common path through the museum, and leaving behind the art installation and repository wall, visitors walk through the “Center Passage”, into Foundation Hall where the brick from Abbottabad is displayed. The hall is a curious and cavernous space with only a few exhibition materials. Between the slurry wall and the excavated North Tower – of which the original bedrock support columns are still visible – visitors can have a closer and more in-depth look at the artifacts visible from the mezzanine ramp above. On the way, visitors pass by the mangled wreckage of the Ladder 3 fire engine and the steel beam from Flight 11’s point of impact. Four digital screens inviting personal messages stand at the entry to Foundation Hall, across from the entrances to the historical galleries and recording studio. The most prominent of the Foundation Hall exhibits is the last column, a 30 foot section of steel beam that, as a “symbol of resilience” and tribute to 	  	  74	  rescue workers, became the last portion of the tower to be removed from the excavation site (“The Last Column”). Preserved now in the museum, the last column stands alongside interactive features such as recorded testimony from rescue workers, and touch screens that provide close up images of the inscriptions, and posters affixed to the column itself. At the end of Foundation Hall is an interactive timeline that uses a complex algorithm to search news reports from all over the world that contain material related to 9/11. Yet it is what is next to this timeline that is the most curious addition to Foundation Hall. In a glass case – the only exhibit in the Hall that is enclosed – is a Navy Seal uniform and a brick chiseled from Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. While the brick is certainly part of the larger narrative of 9/11, it seems out-of-place in a space so heavily invested in emotional commemoration and the personal narratives of victims and rescue workers. There are exhibits detailing the rise of Al Qaeda, the timelines of each hijacking, and history of the War on Terror, yet they are all located elsewhere, part of the historical exhibition, and the brick stands out in stark contrast to the overwhelmingly somber, commemorative, and deeply personal Foundation Hall displays.  However, the brick also calls up significant and likely unintentional similarities that are particularly compelling in a museum narrative that seeks to establish a common identity among visitors that is easily distinguishable from 9/11 perpetrators. Indeed, there is an overwhelming rhetoric of “us” and “them” that immediately interpellates the visitor into the museum’s memorial imaginary. One of the ways that the display of the brick accomplishes this is through its accompanying context. The audio guide provided by the museum in the form of a smart phone “app” provides additional details on a number of items in the main exhibition space, including the “Brick from Abbottabad” (9/11 Museum Audio Guide). Narrated by actor Robert DeNiro, the mobile application has an extended explanation of the 	  	  75	  brick that begins with “you are standing…” (Audio Guide). Not only does this opening phrase immediately call the visitor into a shared discourse of understanding between the creators of the audio guide and the larger political narrative surrounding the killing of Osama Bin Laden, it also raises crucial questions about the hailing of a presumably sympathetic guest. Who is the “you” in this case, and, moreover, who is the “we” that FBI investigator Mary Galligan, for instance, refers to in the ongoing commentary on the brick when she decrees “we had to find him” (Audio Guide, emphasis added)? The museum presumes that the brick comes to stand for a difference with which no visitor will identify. The audio commentary, moreover, acts as a way of announcing the arrival of the guest/visitor – who is initiated into a sameness shared by DeNiro, Galligan, and museum curators – as well as the arrival of the brick, an other/hostile who is invited into the museum, conditionally, and only in its capacity to stand as a marker of murderous and irredeemable difference. What is the museum asking of us who visit then? To align our selves with victims, families, and Americans, regardless of the shaky definitions of each, and to push aside difference? To unite in grief, memorialization, and, ultimately, victory? Indeed, the circumstances and commentary surrounding this particular brick – one of thousands to fall from the compound – present it as a historical artifact but also as a spoil of war. Indeed, part of the brick’s curious placement is due to its value as a testament to vengeance and revenge; it is an enduring reminder of the combined efforts of the CIA and the SEAL team and a symbol of justice served. In this way, the brick breaks from the narrative of memorialization and resembles, much more closely, the rhetoric of revenge and retribution that characterized so many of the cultural responses to Bin Laden’s death.23 By 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  23 The rhetoric of revenge was prominent following the news of Bin Laden’s death on May 2, 2011. The New 	  	  	  76	  doing this, the symbolism of the brick inadvertently links the museum with a project of revenge, even if this is not its expressed purpose, and suggests that the attacks need to be not only remembered but also perpetually avenged. What is also significant are the ways in which the brick’s placement and context draw attention to a revenge that can only be enacted through violent means. Bin Laden’s death is represented here not in the form of an obituary, a birth and death date, or images of his burial; rather, it is represented as a death that was specifically carried out as a targeted killing and in direct retaliation for the 9/11 attacks. A recent study by Mario Gollwitzer et al. confirms that acts of revenge tend to carry more symbolic weight when the act of vengeance is directly linked to the original crime. Bin Laden’s death, in other words, is more meaningful to seekers of vengeance because he was assassinated as opposed to a death brought about by natural, pathological, or accidental causes. Gollwitzer et al. found that Americans, in particular, experienced more “satisfaction” at Bin Laden’s death by assassination that they would had he died by other means, yet a feeling of “justice” does not necessarily preclude the desire to see additional acts of vengeance (Gollwitzer et al. 9-10). From this perspective, then, the brick from the Abbottabad compound not only serves as a symbol of delivered vengeance; it also points to a desire for revenge that is open and ongoing. Justice has been served, in other words, but perhaps not in full. We might consider this brick then as a nod to victory but simultaneously a reminder of a war that will never be won.  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  York Post employed this discourse emphatically on its front page with a bold “GOT HIM” in block letters and beneath that: “Vengeance at last! US nails the bastard.” Newsweek used a white and red image of Bin Laden with the title “Mission Accomplished” for its May 16, 2011 cover and the Seattle weekly magazine The Stranger highlighted the old-adage of “an eye for an eye” the week of May 4-10, 2011 by depicting Bin Laden much like a black and white tower against the blue backdrop of the sky, a lone bullet approaching from his left side bearing resemblance to an airplane flying much too low. Even President Barack Obama employed the language of revenge when, on television and announcing Bin Laden death to the world, he proclaimed “Justice has been done” (qtd. in Phillips).  	  	  77	  At the same time that the brick recalls a sustained preoccupation with vengeance and victory, it gestures towards another set of unintended consequences. The brick is most certainly a symbol of revenge but it is not contained by that symbolism either. In other words, it is much more that the revenge that it signifies, and more than the narrative made possible through its final display location. Indeed, before the arrival of the museum visitor, however, before the integration of written context, audio commentary and glass casing, and prior to being set alongside a Navy Seal uniform, a brick arrives at the gate of the crypt. Like all artifacts arriving at the museum, it is treated carefully, possibly handled with gloves so as not to disturb its fragile state of decomposition. At once an object of abjection, slated for demolition, and one of celebration, this artifact is meticulously preserved, even protected. It is an oddly generous, we might even say hospitable, welcoming of an artifact that was intended for destruction and carelessly chiseled with little regard for its conservation. Stripped of context and down to its irreducible singularity, then, the brick announces something besides its affiliation with terrorism – something else entirely – that may not eliminate but certainly exposes the conditional hospitality leveled upon it. Furthermore, it calls on visitors to recognize the scene by which they will be interpellated, and that has already been determined, calling into question Foundation Hall’s emphasis on a shared narrative of events, and, more crucially, a shared vulnerability to attack. The display assuages difference by asking visitors to participate in a collective identity that is not directly victimized but closely and somewhat arbitrarily aligned. But who is the “we” or the “us” that visits the museum as opposed to the “us” that died there – an “us” that, if the brick is any indication, is far more complicated that the official narrative allows? The audio commentary on the brick, as well as its placement next to a Navy Seal uniform and in a case that also details the ongoing threat of global terrorism present the 	  	  78	  “terrorist” as a figure of abject difference. Yet that is not all the brick is and does. At first glance, it appears like any brick, although lighter in color than a traditional red brick. Its edges are not perfectly squared and the color of the natural rock from which it was excavated shows through. It is stamped with an indistinguishable imprint and several indented marks can be seen, perhaps from the destruction of the compound or from the chisel used to separate it from other bricks. On its own, it appears innocuous and unthreatening – De Niro admits it is “small”, “unassuming,” and “humble” (Audio Guide). Importantly, the brick is not from the top of the three-story compound but, rather, a piece of its fortified foundation (“Brick from Compound”). Accompanying context reveals its origin, purpose, and journey from Abbottabad to the museum and provides visitors with a substantial amount of factual information. It functions, thereby, as a kind of bookend to the museum’s meta-narrative that opens with the attacks on the towers and concludes with the death of Bin Laden – the perpetrator of those attacks. The brick, however, operates are far more than evidence of “justice served”; it also inadvertently raises provocative questions about the nature of remnant objects, which function in often-unintended ways. What are the accidental effects, for example, of including an artifact that is also from a place of ruin – an item that, if positioned without its context, could easily be mistaken for a chiseled piece of bedrock from one of the towers? Indeed, the brick shares an eerie affinity with the excavated support columns of the towers that are on display throughout the museum. Similar in color and composition, the “Box Column Remnants” lie at intervals around both the North and South Tower excavations (Audio Guide). As the anchors for the steel beams that supported the towers, these remnants have been cut in such a way that the grooves in the surface resemble the chisel marks on the Abbottabad brick. Moreover, much like the brick from Bin Laden’s compound, the box column remnants are support structures, 	  	  79	  excavated from the foundation of the towers. They are, like the foundation bricks in Abbottabad, what anchored the towers in place and, just as the foundational bedrock at Ground Zero is not simply inanimate rock, neither is the brick. Both carry meaning far deeper than their physical composition and function, and it their curious placement in such proximity that allows us to think about a hospitality to difference precisely through their similarities. There are compelling comparisons to be made between the brick and the tower bedrock. Both are stone, both are preserved for eternity (presumably), and yet both represent vulnerable buildings and bodies.  Moreover, neither was intended to be excavated and put on display in this fashion, and the exhibition of geological material seems more appropriate for a natural history museum than a memorial one. Curiously then, in their similarities, the brick and the bedrock are both figures of difference; they are both out-of place and not entirely at home in this space, even if part of the original structure. The placement of the brick in Foundation Hall could possibly stand as a reminder of by whom and how the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated. Perhaps it is not enough to recount the rise of Al Qaeda in a historical display – it must also be continually referenced through the museum so that the process of memorialization and the threat of terrorism are never distinct from one another. The brick could also serve as a point of victory and celebration, as it sits alongside the Navy fatigues as a testament to the bravery of the Seal team and resilience of counterterrorism intelligence. Indeed, the intended function of the brick could be any one or all of these things. Yet why is it remembered here – in an area so invested in tribute? Incredibly, while many visitors can turn around and walk back through the Foundation Hall the way they came, it is also possible to walk from the display of the brick, around the perimeter of the North Tower back to the center passage between the two towers. There is only one possible route around this excavation area and after the brick, the dedicated 	  	  80	  walkway follows the angles of the former tower (alongside box column remnants) around to Spencer Finch’s art installation that obscures the repository for 9/11 remains. There are, in short, no additional exhibits between the brick and the repository adding to the peculiar and unexpected positioning of the brick on the far side of Foundation Hall. The respository and the brick, in other words, are literally next to one another; they are neighbors in this space and they share it as most unlikely cryptfellows. The brick’s location in Foundation Hall, rather than in the history of Al Qaeda and as a stranger alongside established victims, is so crucial and, while it is surely not the intended function, the location of brick positions it not as history to be told but as a trace to be remembered. It is, if both its original location and final resting place are any indication, foundational to the ways in which we come to think about ourselves in relation to strangers.  In addition to its function as a marker of difference (yet not fully subsumed by the difference given unto it), the brick also conjures a rhetoric of hospitality in its original location. As Alex Drakakis points out, Bin Laden’s compound was often referred to as a “safe house” (“Brick from Compound”), an interesting turn of phrase when considering the implications of an ethical hospitality in which a host is not always secure in his own home. Indeed, to this point we have considered what it means for the Abbottabad brick, and even Bin Laden himself, whose presence is so powerfully evoked by this fragment of his final home, to be considered a guest (albeit a hostile one) in the museum. It is an object that recalls another scene of guests and unwelcome arrivals, particularly when the narrative shifts away from the museum and backwards in time to the raid on Bin Laden’s compound 	  	  81	  in 2011.24 It is an interesting perspective that considers that compound as not the wellspring of violence but a site subject to harm and destruction itself. Bin Laden’s safe house was certainly on the radar of intelligence officials for some time prior to his assassination there but that does not alter the significance of a home razed by an unexpected guest. It is an uncomfortable avenue of thinking, while walking within this hallowed space, to contemplate contemporary culture’s terrorist par excellence as a host, in his home, at home, even when we are reminded by Peter Melville that “hospitality means being hospitable to the absolutely inhospitable” (178). It is a surprising domestication of terror that does not make light of the acts of terror committed by Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda globally but, rather, highlights one of hospitality’s more troubling realizations – that safety is, in fact, the antithesis of hospitality. Gideon Baker reminds us that “providing entry only to known individuals defined in advance as not posing a security risk might be many things, but it is not hospitality” (117). To be sure, Bin Laden’s compound is a difficult example to think through, particularly as it has come to be identified with a perpetrator of decidedly inhospitable acts of aggression and violence. Thinking hospitality through the safe house is perhaps strange, but is it any more strange than including a brick from this house in the 9/11 museum? Almost everything about the Abbottabad brick seems out-of-place; its resemblance to the excavated bedrock, ordination in regards to the repository wall, and its affiliation with perpetrator rather than victim in an exhibition hall (with this solitary exception) dedicated to meaningful tribute. The proximity between the brick and the remains of 9/11 victims, not to mention the resemblance between the brick and the bedrock – not to mention the particles of dust from both that mingle indistinguishable from one 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  24 This is a narrative that will be articulated in far greater detail in the next chapter, where I investigate the complexities of hospitality in the 2012 film Zero Dark Thirty.  	  	  82	  another – are particularly strange scenarios in a museum that seeks, on every occasion, to highlight the difference between victim and perpetrator. Yet what would it mean to think of the destruction of the towers and the victims who died there as similar to the destruction of Osama Bin Laden’s compound and his death? Conversely, what can be made of this inadvertent, or perhaps careless, juxtaposition of artifacts within Foundation Hall that actually prevents such an unthinkable equivalence and how do we think through this similarity in order to maintain a difference that does not level the ethical demands of each? It is possible to test the conventions, possibilities, and limits of hospitality without dissolving completely the difference between brick and bedrock. By some force of theoretical alchemy we might try to meld the two together; they would, by all material appearances, be indistinguishable and there is certainly something provocatively productive in thinking through a would-be object25 whose material remains are ambiguous. Yet despite the important ethical questions raised by similitude – the ways in which they both represent a kind of structural and corporeal vulnerability, for instance – such questions need not detract from the singularity of each and their unique demands. If these objects appear similar, that must not eliminate their differences. To see both as representative of loss, in other words, is not to hold those losses in equity. Both are differentially complex. Indeed, the victims of the 9/11 attacks, whose remains are stored behind the repository wall, are unidentified yet easily mourned. Osama Bin Laden, on the other hand, is strategically 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  25 This possibility is not simply imaginative as the museum does contain an object precisely of this sort. Part of the historical exhibition includes a large section of the former towers known simply as “the composite”.  The composite is a 15-ton section of compressed granite, steel and other material which fused together during the collapse of the buildings. Scientific analysis has proven that there are no biological remains present in the composite, yet while no human DNA has been found in the composite, officials do admit that comprehensive testing is difficult. It is, after all, comprised of four or five floors and includes pieces of paper with discernable human writing that, despite the lack of official DNA, offer “trace” remains of human contact and industry. 	  	  83	  located, forensically identified, and yet nearly impossible to mourn. Thus, the utility of thinking through difference lies not in rendering these artifacts, bodies or losses equal but, rather, in leveraging a comparison – an effect produced by the ordering and display of the 9/11 Museum – in order to think through the complexities of hospitality more comprehensively and trace its prevalence more than its solution across a number of complicated terrains.  2.4 Conclusion: Hospitality and the Ghost of Traumas Past There is, perhaps, no more complicated terrain in a memorial museum than the “museum store.” Most visits to a cultural institution, whether art gallery, museum or monument, are not complete without a trip to the gift shop and the 9/11 museum is no exception. Located near the exit of the exhibition, visitors pass by the museum store on their journey back to the surface of the memorial. It is difficult, after exploring the depths of the museum itself – including preserved store front windows, caked in dust but not entirely dissimilar from the gift shop’s retail displays – to shake the specter that seems to linger even in the spaces reserved for retail rather than burial. Promoted by officials as a way to fund the museum’s ongoing programs and operating costs, and critiqued by victims’ families as “catharsis consumerism” (Kingston), the gift shop sells everything from women’s scarves, emblazoned with graphics of the towers, to FDNY dog vests. More conventional gift shop items are also available, including books, coffee mugs, t-shirts and even children’s toys. While the museum itself is dark, with dim lighting, dark wooden floors and many grey and narrow corridors, the museum store is bright, open and well-lit. It gives visitors time to transition between the crypt-like underground exhibits and the cloistered memorial gardens and, importantly, gives them an opportunity to take something 	  	  84	  tangible home. It many not be a symbolic urn, but a piece of jewelry, a postcard, or a photograph becomes an item that visitors can possess. Yet the gift shop alerts us to a possession of another kind, one that we cannot simply “dust” off as we leave the museum. Indeed, to dwell in the presence of human remains, dust, remnant objects and virtual displays would seem more like a visit to a haunted house were it not for the lingering of actual specters. A visit to the museum, then, is an experience with multiple levels of hospitality at once – an invitation to share in a narrative of memorialization and tribute but, on a more compelling level, an unbidden haunting. In Seeing Ghosts: 9/11 and the Visual Imagination, Engle notes “[i]n as much as we are, we are by virtue of others passing through our lives, memories, and bodies” (115). What is this passing through – the ultimate expression of hospitable welcome, and the literal and metaphorical giving oneself over to an other – if not the very definition of ghostly possession? Hospitality is, unequivocally and even traumatically, possession of another, by another, for another. To travel beneath the surface of the memorial and into the literal crypt of 9/11 trauma is to discover that the memorial and museum are powerfully, intimately and irrevocably concerned with matters of haunting, and, more specifically, the figure of the ghost. The ghost becomes such a crucial figure for hospitality not because it appears as an invited guest in the space and archive of the museum but, rather, because hospitality is not based on invitation at all but on visitation. The museum can certainly limit its scope of invitation through a variety of practical and discursive practices, but it cannot limit the visitation(s) that an ambiguous figure such as the specter make possible. It would seem that the most provocative figures of hospitality are the ones that show up despite the attempts to banish them, to render them invisible, and despite the refusals to acknowledge their lingering presence. Ultimately, while certain narratives are rendered ghostly (or 	  	  85	  ghastly) and excised from the memorial space, these ghosts return as virtual specters or trace phantoms in remnant objects such as bricks and are never fully exorcised in order to pose serious questions about how we encounter strangers after 9/11. If hospitality is concerned especially with what or who does not belong, then the museum and memorial provide ample evidence of things “out of place”: obscene images of falling bodies, eerie artifacts, human remains, disembodied objects and voices, and the faces of the perpetrators. These are the revenants of the museum – the things that are not invited into the official narratives of memorialization but that “come back precisely because [they] have been buried or concealed” much like memory (Kearney, Strangers 142). While there has been much discussion around the presence of ghosts haunting the hallowed space at Ground Zero, there is also much to be said about the work of the spectral and its function as a social and cultural (rather than exclusively gothic) figure that expresses a philosophy of hospitality. Avery Gordon, for instance, suggests that “the ghost is not simply dead or a missing person, but a social figure” (qtd. in Ladwig 90) and that “[g]hostly matters are part of social life” (Gordon 23). As Ladwig elaborates, “ghosts can here be understood as strangers to the realm of the living who through the crossing of an ontological boundary intrude into a world to which they usually do not belong” (91). Thus, in their deconstructive efforts, ghosts become both the invited and uninvited guests in the process of making and unmaking meaning. As figures demonstrative of the impossibility of absolute ideological suppression, they deconstruct the very processes that seek to annihilate them. In short, they challenge what we know and understand about the world, whether they are summoned or not. While the ghost may be discovered in the crypt of the museum, it is certainly not confined to that aspect of the site by any means. In fact, in ascending the stairway back to 	  	  86	  the surface, past the museum store and out into the memorial gardens with the reflective pools and Freedom Tower looming near, it becomes apparent that these strangers can be found on the surface as well. They are not only in the dust, illuminated and brought (back) to life in the beams of the “tribute in light,” but also in the ethereal nature of the entry pavilion, the skeletal steeple of the new tower, the haunting name “Ground Zero”, the phantom footprints of the reflective pools, the scuffmarks of boots on pews in St. Paul’s Chapel, and the shape of a skyline that, when viewed from a distance, will remain unfamiliar for a long time to come. The entire memorial quadrant is heavily invested in a rhetoric steeped in spectrality. The crypt may surprise with its moments and figures of unlooked-for hospitality, but it also alerts us to the specter that has been haunting the surface of things all along. It may well be, for example, that the ghost arrives not only to challenge our processes of commemoration and rituals of mourning but also our official claims to history and historical record. As Jeffrey Weinstock suggests, the haunting of ghosts “indicates that, beneath the surface of received history, there lurks another narrative, an untold story that calls into question the veracity of the authorized version of events” (5). These ghosts do not only show up in the most obvious places, for example, in the emphasis on Ground Zero as a graveyard and the purposeful display of symbolic remains; these are the conjurings that attempt to reinvigorate a nationalist or commemorative spirit by the confining of ghosts to a particular function. What is even more compelling are the ghosts that go largely unacknowledged – the phantoms and uninvited guests that show up in the museum’s displays, behind the screens, in the posters and leaflets, in the gift shop, inorganic objects, and in the traces and touch of the dead on all these artifacts. What these unacknowledged ghosts might reveal is not so much how they have managed to creep up unannounced, giving weight to a more conventional reading of the site’s haunted house of 	  	  87	  horrors but, rather, that these ghosts have been there all along, long before the towers fell and in the historical hauntings of American imperialism and violence. That is, there is a specter that has curtailed the work of hospitality since long before the terrorist attacks but one that the aftermath of attack makes all the more noticeable.  As the specific texts and archives of the memorial and museum reveal, the ghosts that turn up in the museum’s spaces and displays, indeed in the very notion of a memorial museum itself, reinforce the centrality of the ghost to hospitality and the question of the stranger. Moreover, these specters expose a preoccupation with strangers and strangeness that extends far beyond the walls of the museum, or the four corners of the memorial quadrant. At stake in the welcoming (back) of uninvited ghosts to the former World Trade Center site is the possibility that such ghosts arrive not only to teach us something about hospitality, but to demand that we exercise such hospitality before we know what the consequences might be and regardless of where we might be. It is no coincidence that the very language used to describe strangers invokes the spectral. For example, Anthony Steinbock describes encountering the stranger as a “different way of sensing” that involves “visions”, “locutions”, and experiences of “affliction” (109) and what are such descriptors if not risky and ghostly sensations? Undoubtedly, the ghost is the unannounced, unexpected and uninvited stranger par excellence who defies all attempts to render it familiar or predict its arrival. Derrida defines this arrival of the stranger as “[a]waiting without horizon of the wait, awaiting what one does not expect yet or any longer, hospitality without reserve, welcoming salutation accorded in advance to the absolute surprise of the arrivant from whom or from which one will not ask anything in return and who or which will not be asked to commit to the domestic contracts of any welcoming power” (Specters 81-82). Derrida’s definition is even more apt when reading the ghost at the memorial and museum 	  	  88	  site, as a specter who not only comes uninvited but arrives before the notion of awaiting such an arrival ever enters the imagination. It is the ghost too that, in a sense, is always waiting, existing perpetually on a threshold between here and there, life and death. Indeed, the specter forces us to confront important questions, among them: is the ghost a welcome guest, a hostile threat, or perhaps both? Indeed, in addition to challenging the borders of what we know or expect, the ghost also confronts questions of being and reality that are integral to a deeper understanding of (and intervention in) post 9/11 culture. For Derrida, ghosts are crucial to working through these questions. He states “the dead can often be more powerful than the living; and that is why to interpret a philosophy as philosophy or ontology of life is never a simple matter” (Derrida, Specters 60).  Indeed, these are questions that only increase in consequence as we move further away from September 11th, 2001, the date, and towards a notion of 9/11 as a defining cultural milieu – one whose meaning reverberates and recurs endlessly. As a moment, the event shapes and haunts the present, even (and especially) as the completion of the museum and official missions of the “War on Terror” have been scaled back yet at the same time renewed, especially in Iraq and Syria, with a different yet familiar enemy. The figure of the ghost reminds us that this past is not dissociated from even the more philosophical questions about others and strangers. Finally, exposing the centrality of the ghost to both hospitality and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum reveals that while the ghost appears unannounced and without warning, its presence in both the theory and the archive are not new. Thus, it must be recognized that ghosts are neither emergent in, nor original to, literary and cultural criticism. They do not suddenly appear after 9/11, in the text of the museum, and in places where they did not already haunt. What I argue through my reading of these texts and spaces is that, when welcomed into the cultural criticism surrounding the memorial and museum, there is 	  	  89	  something the ghosts can teach us about how we respond to and read the culture of 9/11, and it is something intimately and provocatively invested in relations of hospitality. The September 11 Memorial and Museum is a compelling text through which to think the specter’s relation to hospitality and exclusion as it is saturated with the ghosts of what is left out of the archive itself as well as the politics surrounding how the event of 9/11 and its aftermath are to be remembered, commemorated and taught. Yet the ghost does more than pose critical questions about politics and culture; it is also a decidedly ethical figure – a sign of alterity that makes significant demands. Despite the attempt to exorcise ghosts from the memorial site or, at the very least, force them to conform to acceptable positions as harbingers or protectors of nationalist culture and ideology, the ghost is a figure that resists such containment and, if accepted under conditions of absolute hospitality, can teach us much about how we encounter strangers and strangeness in a post-9/11 world. More, such ghosts return to teach us something about the past, a past we may not be familiar with and thus demands an openness to the kinds of memories that ghosts may bring along that challenge not only the enduring and decidedly exceptional narrative of 9/11 but other global instances of violence and inequity as well. In Parting Ways, Judith Butler asks what it might mean “to have the history of the oppressed enter, to interrupt, transfigure or light up, stall, reconstellate the time of the present otherwise understood as a kind of marching on” (104). Later, she suggests this “flash” is “decidedly not substance” but that which opens the gate to a “memory that takes fragmented and scattered form” (Butler, “Parting Ways” 106). Butler does not name this move explicitly as a form of hospitality, but the language she uses certainly conjures both the spirits of unconditional welcome and those of the specter. Perhaps it is the ghost that opens this gate for us and interrogates our openness to the oppressed histories elided in the service of a narrative of 	  	  90	  9/11 memorialization that, however official, remains incomplete. Indeed, as Gordon argues, “the ghost cannot be simply tracked back to an individual loss or trauma. The ghost has its own desires” (183). Gordon’s recognition is crucial in the context of memorialization and the individualization of diverse desires for the museum and memorial. We must ask of our memorials, in other words, what the ghosts – guests or hostiles – might want and offer a hospitality to history that accounts for those omissions.  The September 11 Memorial and Museum, through its conjuring of some ghosts and exorcism of others, reveals not only the complexity but the absolute necessity of a hospitality towards the specter. Ultimately, despite the “ghosting” of certain narratives and other forms of exclusion, the presence of human remains, strange artifacts like the Abbottabad Brick, and the immaterial figure of dust, reveal that the specter is anything but contained in this archive. This is a realization – and perhaps the most appropriate kind of memorialization – of an event that continues to have effects, reverberating in New York and around the globe, and is not in any rigorous sense finished. The specter sneaks though, changes form and resists attempts to impose conditions on its arrival. The ghosts at Ground Zero pose ethical as well as ontological questions about how we mourn a traumatic event and what that mourning might mean in terms of how we incorporate or disavow remnants, or revenants, be they the return or residue of memory, artifacts or the living dead that are buried in the crypt like foundations of the museum and aspirated as dust into the lungs of New Yorkers. While its initial associations may be of hearth and home, hospitality is always, first and foremost, a haunting and it is a haunting brought on by mourning which makes the processes of memorialization at Ground Zero an ideal site upon which to practice an ethic of unconditional welcome to whomever, whatever (ghosts, guests, strangers or hostiles) might turn up, for even in that extreme risk there is something to be learned that 	  	  91	  transcends the scene of the museum and makes tangible the possibilities of hospitality across the complex topographies of social and cultural life after 9/11. As Jodey Castricano elaborates, “[t]o learn to live with ghosts is to rethink ourselves through the dead or, rather, through the return of the dead (in us) and thus through haunting” (19). This living with, as a kind of living through and for, is not about tolerance, nor is it about charity. It is not about welcoming the stranger in, as kind of benevolent extension of the privilege of the host but, rather, about an unreserved welcome to a figure from whom we require nothing but whom nonetheless comes with much to offer.                 	  	  92	  Chapter 3 Surprised by Hospitality: Violence and Intimacy in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty  “At such thresholds of experience, we stand in an event: an opening onto hospitality. But doors can be opened or shut. Or stand ajar…the event might lead to a welcome kiss or a violent struggle…who can recall who spoke or reached out first?”  (Kearney and Semonovitch, Phenomenologies of the Stranger 4)  In 2006, five years to the month after the 9/11 attacks, Vogue Italia released their September issue, which included a multi-page fashion editorial by famed photographer Steven Meisel. In the piece, entitled “State of Emergency,” models wear designer fashion while photographed in various stages of undress and discomfort. In the title image, a brunette model wears a concerned look as she steps into (or possibly out of) a leather skirt after walking through an airport screening gate.  Under the careful watch of three guards – and one salivating dog – she leans forward into their gaze. Her face is visible, as are bits of her flesh – in particular, her upper thigh and hip but also her chest, which is seen under a sheer blouse that appears to be untied and falling open from neck to navel.  Her contorted and exposed body appears in stark contrast to the relatively relaxed postures of the (fully clothed) guards. One stands with hands authoritatively on hips and another with arms crossed – both have two feet planted firmly and securely on the floor. A third guard, mostly outside of the shot, leans leisurely on a security stanchion, legs crossed, and his arm, knee and holstered baton border the shot on three sides and contain the model within a crude frame. She steps through the metal detector, so often seen as a routine and benign pre-flight ritual, and into a scene of interrogation, surveillance and violence. Yet this is a still image; 	  	  93	  there is no act of violence, per se, that might be traced or followed through to its ultimate implication. It is a frozen moment in time, staged but leaving little doubt about what happens before or after in the realities the image evokes. Likewise, the title of the editorial confirms this is not one isolated moment – an anomaly perhaps – rather, it is the ongoing “state” of things in a new climate of security.  Meisel’s image certainly seems to offer a critique of post-9/11 paranoia and uses a white woman – so clearly unable to conceal anything in her stage of undress, let alone any kind of restricted object – in order to address the absurdity of racially targeted profiling, particularly in airports which operate as loci of the new security paradigm. As a white woman, the model calls attention to a process of profiling often rendered invisible and naturalized – this is, in fact, accomplished simultaneously with the positioning of a black, female security guard who is in a position of power in the image yet curiously remains more exposed than her male counterparts with sunglasses. The image implicates the viewer as not only witness to the events unfolding (yet suspended); it also asks viewers to see this scene, not as one they are familiar with (a banal encounter with the TSA), but as an encounter punctuated by figures of defamiliarization: the black woman in power, the white woman in expensive clothing as a security threat, and the overall sexualization of the scene, represented by the strip-search scenario and the baton, at once phallic and authoritative. Yet the image also alerts us to an entirely different, yet related, set of problems and contradictions; that is, the complexities of hospitality in a time of terror that underwrite even the most banal and routine encounters. These are the figures that so often pose a problem for hospitality – the gate itself, the exposure of both guest and host, the complex operations of framing and enclosure, and the entangled figures of proximity, violence, race, and gender that suggest hospitality is not only philosophical; it is embodied. The set of 	  	  94	  conditions imagined by Meisel, at once strange and familiar, not only reveal a crucial tension between hospitality and security, they also alert us to a hospitality that exceeds the frames that seek to contain it – be it the physical barrier of the gate or the standard designations of moral “good” that are too readily equated with hospitality or, rather, to which hospitality is too readily reduced. Moreover, Meisel’s photograph alludes to the ways in which human dignity is sacrificed in the name of security, and how such processes expose a fraught tie between our desires for both security and hospitality. Overall, the image confronts its viewer with a startling amount of violence but also calls to mind a disturbing intimacy that raises a number of questions for the ways in which closeness is experienced and represented in a culture where terrorist attack is perpetually imminent. How, for example, do moments such as this one call up other histories of terror, and of racialized and gendered violence and how might hospitality function within those relations? And as representations, how do such images reflect a social and cultural reality at the same time as they disavow real incidences of torture and interrogation and hierarchize some violence as acceptable? Also at stake in the relationship between intimacy and hospitality is the distinction between an intimacy that is welcomed and invited, and one that confronts and arrives without warnings or permissions – if, that is, it arrives at all. I use intimacy, here and elsewhere, to refer to a set of practices and movements in which selves are brought together in a closeness that is proximal, though not always physical; a giving over of oneself to another, though not always reciprocal; and a relation characterized by transparency, vulnerability and, often, desire. Meisel’s photograph and, indeed, the scenes in Zero Dark Thirty that will unfold in what follows often do not give us a choice; they force their viewer into an intimate relation that is unwilled, suggesting that even within a practice of hospitality, intimacy is not always exercised or experienced freely. To be sure, 	  	  95	  we may willingly decide whether to look or turn away, but we remain hostaged to an injunction posed by the image that cannot be disavowed or unseen, though it may be a source of pleasure or pain. With that in mind, then, how do representations of violence welcome viewers into what are, effectively, regimes of intimacy, in which events such as torture startle and confront while, at the same time, the violent and powerful undertones of the security paradigm are filtered through the political liberalism of romanticized (and award-winning) artistic narratives?   3.1 Hospitality and Terror in Television and Film: Contexts and Questions At the same time as Meisel’s editorial calls up figures that suggest a practice or ethics of hospitality is anything but simple, it also gestures towards the significance of such an ethics that finds timely resonance in our current social and political milieu but, at the same time, exceeds this context. The fight against terror, for example, is permeated by references to hospitality, whether it be the ways in which people are welcomed differentially according to perceptions of race and gender, or in the establishment of closed sites, states of exception, and the classifying of individuals outside the law. These figures of hospitality are also reflected in the cultural representations of the War on Terror and, while they are certainly leveraged as reflections of reality, they respond to and are created within a set of real conditions and have much influence over how 9/11 and the War on Terror are encountered, taught, and remembered. More specifically, these figures come to account for a variety of ways in which a fascination with and anxiety over strangers is perhaps more pronounced than ever. The threat of terrorism around the globe has been appropriated into a vast archive of television and filmic representation from the amusing (one might place the satirical publication The Onion or the television programs South Park and Family Guy 	  	  96	  here) to the more serious, commemorative and, at times, even critical – an archive that is far more expansive given contemporary media’s penchant for counter-terrorism narratives and the prevalence with which New York is used as a backdrop four countless television and film texts.  For instance, much like the fiction written in the aftermath of 9/11, the event finds its way in to dramatic programs such as Blue Bloods (2010-2014), where a family of police officers refers often to the loss of one of their brothers on 9/11, or Fringe (2008-2013), which imagines an alternate universe in which the towers still stand. These programs, much like Meisel’s “State of Emergency,” are but a few examples of how the event of 9/11 reverberates in cultural production and signals the ways in which contemporary cultural forms remain deeply invested in questions of what it means to respond to others in a time of terror, and, indeed, to terror itself. Yet while these texts mediate the relationship between terror and hospitality – a relationship that is, crucially, always in tension but not always in opposition – they do so often by way of aesthetic pleasure or enjoyment – a process made more complex when such texts depict violence.  One particularly powerful example of this that has been the focus of both critique and acclaim (collecting 5 nominations at the 85th Academy Awards)26 is the 2012 film, Zero Dark Thirty. Based on real-life events, Kathryn Bigelow’s blockbuster narrativizes the decade long hunt for Osama Bin Laden, told through the perspective of a young, female CIA operative named Maya. The film documents many aspects of the search for Bin Laden, including internal CIA politics, ongoing acts of terror and the process of intelligence 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  26 Zero Dark Thirty received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Writing, Best Film Editing and won in the category of Sound Editing. In terms of other awards, actress Jessica Chastain was awarded best actress at the Golden Globe Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Director Kathryn Bigelow was awarded a BAFTA, among other prizes for her work. Bigelow also won an Oscar for her direction in The Hurt Locker (2008), which earned another five Oscars in various categories. 	  	  97	  gathering, but what is particularly compelling are the more surprising moments of hospitality that are found throughout the film. Indeed, the film offers a sustained encounter with figures of the stranger and strangeness that appear by way of continual references to gates, doors and thresholds but also in the rituals of gift-giving and invitation and, most remarkably, in the depictions of prisoner interrogation. The representation of torture in Zero Dark Thirty is, of course, the main source of controversy over the film and critics have referred to such scenes as celebrating prisoner violence and offering a misleading picture of the intelligence received using such methods.27 It seems unlikely, at first, that the depiction of torture – especially torture that calls real historical violence to mind – would offer anything on the subject of hospitality other than its abject failure. What is it, then, about the act of torture or the moment of violence that opens to the possibility of hospitality? What encounters are enabled, foreclosed and made explicit by these moments of forced or coerced intimacy? Zero Dark Thirty, to be sure, reinforces dichotomous thinking emblematic of War on Terror rhetoric and positions violence as justifiable in the service of the “greater good,” yet it offers some surprising turns toward a philosophy of hospitality, 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  27 While reviews of the film tend to sidestep important matters of race, gender and sexuality, they are fairly consistent in their criticism. Reviewers overwhelmingly read the film as not only a glorification of torture, but a misleading one at that, in terms of the film’s suggestion that such interrogation techniques aided in locating Osama Bin Laden. David Edelstein, for example, claims the film “makes a case for the efficacy of torture" (in Fox), a critique supported by Jesse Fox who adds that such torture is presented as being “universally supported within the intelligence community” (Fox). Other reviews take a more traditional route, breaking the film down into its many components and assessing each individually. Alex Von Tunzelmann, for example, gives the film letter grades, granting a respectable B- for “Entertainment” but a less-than-average C for “History” (Von Tunzelmann). One of the more critical reviews hints at a critique rooted in gender and queer analysis, claiming unapologetically that “[t]he first third of Zero Dark Thirty is unadulterated torture porn” (Kassem). Responding to these critiques, Bigelow is quick to defend her choices, claiming that “depiction is not endorsement” (qtd. in Von Tunzelmann) while at the same time appealing to artistic license, a strategy for which there is no excuse, according to Steve Coll. He argues that “filmmakers cannot, on the one hand, claim authenticity as journalists while, on the other, citing art as an excuse for shoddy reporting about a subject” (Coll). Moreover, Coll points out that, while many of the real-life CIA officials and Senate Intelligence Committee members expressed reservations about the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, the “only qualms any of the CIA characters in the film express about torture are oblique and self-protecting” (Coll). Overall, these reviews highlight the contentious nature of depicting torture but do not fully address some of the more significant implications of prisoner abuse that this chapter seeks to uncover. 	  	  98	  even when it appears we are looking at its failure. This is but one way in which hospitality often exceeds the containers of narrative and understanding that seek to delimit its possibility. Hospitality, of course, has no limits, but even as we encounter its figures over and over again, we are forced to remember that hospitality never promises safety, nor does it guarantee freedom from violence, making Zero Dark Thirty a provocative example of a text preoccupied with a hospitality that arrives precisely through violence.  3.2 Intimate Invitations: Framing Zero Dark Thirty The creators of the film, for their part, play on this promise of strange encounter, offering a closer look at the search for Bin Laden than the history books allow – though fidelity to history here is another debate entirely. The film not only brings the viewer a more personal perspective; it actively relies on the intimacy of personal relationships of all kinds to sustain its narrative. The strangers that are encountered, moreover, appear stranger still in the context of the friendships and working partnerships privileged by the film. In her introduction to the published screenplay, Bigelow praises the script and its writer, Mark Boal, for “allowing us to experience this epic story through a lens that is both intimate and, at the end of the day, totally human” (Bigelow, qtd. in Boal viii). Indeed, Boal’s screenplay, born out of years of research and revision (and beginning even before Osama Bin Laden was killed), manages to condense a number of historical, cultural and political complexities into a narrative accessible to a general movie audience. The drama in Zero Dark Thirty is, as Bigelow suggests, a human one but one that is decidedly selective in who it chooses to humanize. When Bigelow speaks of the “totally human” experience of the film, then, she refers to a totalized idea of the human – one that readily fits into the grand narrative provided by the film – rather than the diverse and differential assessments of humanity that 	  	  99	  operate in social reality. By allowing viewers access to scenes that, in actuality, existed in darkness and behind closed doors – or, perhaps, never “existed” in any official capacity at all – the film brings an intimacy to a subject most in North America have only witnessed from a distance and offers an invitation to be a part of history, yet ignores the ways in which those always living under conditions of terror in the Middle East have intimately and unwillingly been a part of (and victimized by) this history for some time. Nowhere is this more clear than in the film’s countless scenes of interrogation, and it is Zero Dark Thirty’s tangling of intimacy and humanity that draws philosophical attention to prison violence and raises important questions about what it means to be hospitable in a time of war while, at the same time, confronting the viewer with moments of hospitality that crack open the tightly controlled narrative and expose some of hospitality’s most complex operations. Zero Dark Thirty does not welcome its audience from a place of comfort and good cheer – hospitality, of course, never promises such a warm welcome and is “never backed by certain assurances” to borrow from Derrida (qtd. in Borradori 129). The film, then, much like hospitality, begins in darkness, a black screen greeting the viewer before any opening credits or context emerge. Then, from the “black,” as Boal describes, “voices emerge” (1). There is no establishing shot – only the muffled sounds of voices off-screen before a title panel appears to set the scene:  “The following motion picture is based on first hand accounts of actual events” (Bigelow).  The film then cuts to black again as the voices gradually become clearer until we hear fragments of numbers and words and, finally, a decipherable phrase: “United 93” (Bigelow). The words are repeated a few times as the viewer gathers his or her bearings by decoding the telling and now familiar shorthand of an airline flight number that for many – much like the name-date 9/11 – will always only signify one event. The voices become louder and convey a range of emotion – some plea 	  	  100	  for help, some panic and others accept their hopeless situation. Another panel of text appears and confirms what we already know: it reads, simply, “September 11, 2001” (Bigelow). More fragments of conversations are heard including the phrases “we can’t breathe” and “I think we’ve been hijacked” (Bigelow). The voices grow more distressed, some scream, and one woman tells a 9-1-1 operator she is “burning up” before the line goes dead – the operator’s distressed “oh my God” ending the one minute and thirty second scene that passes in total blackness. The familiar language, the date, and the documentary-like recordings28 of real emergency calls all take us, as viewers, out of the fictional world of a film contending for an Academy Award and remind us that all the special effects, creative alterations, and the use of a well-known cast cannot escape the magnitude of the towers collapse and the reality of lives lost on 9/11. This opening scene is compelling, then, for a number of reasons, including the amount of controversy29 it provoked in using the real telephone recordings of calls made to emergency personnel or loved ones and the tension it sets up between artistic representation and the reality to which it refers – whose documentation, however realistic, will always be 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  28 These are the same techniques employed in the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, where survivor, victim, and witness testimony and calls to both emergency lines and loved ones are included in the historical displays. At the 9/11 Museum, these displays are prefaced with a warning of the disturbing content to follow and are often found behind dividing walls or in alcoves set aside so as not to force every visitor to listen against their will. In Zero Dark Thirty, however, there is no warning, no wall to muffle the voices. 29 While the film studio acknowledges the sensitive nature of using real recorded messages, it claims the film is a “tribute to those forever affected” (in Edelman). Moreover, the studio maintains that, while attempts were made to inform families that the recordings would be included, they are, according to one representative, public domain (Edelman). For many family members of victims, these last messages are sacred and should not be intended for public consumption and certainly not for profit. According to the brother of flight attendant Betty Ann Ong, one of the victims whose voice is heard in Zero Dark Thirty’s opening scene, these recordings should not be used without permission. They refer to their inclusion in the film as “poor judgment and an abuse of the voices” (Harry Ong, qtd. in Cieply). The family’s requests, however, are not monetary; they do not want compensation but rather, requested an acknowledgement of the victims at the Academy Awards, if the film received any honours, as well as a donation to a charity set up in Betty Ann Ong’s name. They also requested, perhaps more interestingly in the context of this chapter, that it be made clear that the Ong family did not support the torture of prisoners (Cieply). 	  	  101	  a form of representation as well. That the film captures the last moments of a life is both poignant and terrifying. Not only does it bring the viewer back to the events of that day; it sets up the remainder of the film as a factual depiction of a real moment in history. Yet it uses a Hollywood cast, takes creative and cinematographic liberties, edits ten or more years of events into a two-hour shooting script, and, in so doing, blurs the line between representation and reality. Boal seems to embrace this hybrid blend of “fact” and fiction, offering his hope that the film is still “naturalistic” but remains “more comfortable in adding spin on the ball in terms of theatricality” (109). Zero Dark Thirty, as he puts it, is “drawn from life” (Boal 109). The opening scene, however, offers ninety seconds of real (albeit parsed) trauma – a beginning that suggests authenticity and truth, but one that is carefully arranged, presented, and selected with a particular storyboard, budget, and aesthetic aura in mind – to say nothing of the unintended range of effects the scene also produces. In other words, while the opening of the film is created within a certain frame set up by the filmmaker, using the resources at his disposal, a reading of this scene can certainly exceed this framework. It is not an innocent or objective nod to the historical reality upon which the film is based, even if the dark screen provides more room for viewers to interpret without conventional visual cues. Instead of the methods used by so many other films – for example, an establishing shot (often aerial) to give viewers a particular geographical orientation – this film offers an emotional but also explicitly political orientation – one that immediately asks viewers to identify with the victims of the 9/11 attacks and to continue to do so throughout the film, regardless of what scenes come after. It demands, in fact, an immediately hospitable response to the film on the part of the viewer whose reception is manipulated by the reference to those who actually died in the September 11th attacks. 	  	  102	  In this way, the opening sequence not only introduces the event back into the minds of the viewer; it actively frames the entire narrative of the film. It becomes the reason the film exists, the motivation for its characters and, ultimately, means that when the unspeaking and entirely soundless figure of Osama Bin Laden is shot at the end of the film, it is still those victims voices that echo in our ears, rather than the dying sounds of someone referred to only as a target. As a framing device, then, the opening scene reveals a specific historical and political context but also inadvertently reveals the film’s perhaps unconscious engagement with hospitality. Indeed, the figure of framing alone is of great concern to hospitality, as is the implicit rhetoric of welcome and visitation carried within the film’s first moments. The scene is constructed in such a way that we are invited to experience the events again, perhaps closer than ever before, even though all we can experience is its representation. Moreover, it is a visual representation that uses the dark space as a rhetorical structure meant to give viewers the illusion of an openness to interpretation. It encourages us to imagine the lives behind the voices, and initiates and receives us, as it were, into a shared sense of panic; we feel our hearts race as if we are there, in the towers or planes, or perhaps on the other end of that telephone call. Boal describes these opening scenes as the hardest he has ever written: “I've had to revisit it over and over again...and I still don't think I've totally shaken [these voices] off” (qtd. in Buchanan). Boal’s use of language imbued with ideas of hospitality is particularly telling as he transfers his own unsettling experience making the film to the viewer by asking us, too, to “revisit” the events of that day and beyond. We are but guests in this landscape and offered a ringside seat to the culmination of a decades-long pursuit. The first ninety seconds of Zero Dark Thirty may be aesthetically masterful, but they do not offer an invitation without conditions that would constitute an absolute 	  	  103	  hospitality. To watch the film, as Boal and Bigelow have constructed it, is to be welcomed into a particular and U.S.-centric way of interpreting and understanding the global War on Terror. Moreover, the subsequent scenes invite us into the inner workings of this war; they ask us to be a part of the hunt for Bin Laden, and, by watching, we tacitly accept both the challenge and the earnest aims of the film’s central characters – they are often frustrated and flawed figures but none of the film’s “heroes” are particularly unlikeable enough to cause us, as viewers, to support the opposing side, even if we fall prey to the film’s techniques in setting up a too-easy dichotomy that positions 9/11 victims and their CIA champions on one side, and Bin Laden and his terrorist army on the other. However, even as the film welcomes the viewer into regime of ostensible choice – a “with us or against us” scenario from which we can freely disassociate – it simultaneously, and perhaps unintentionally, ushers us into the more disturbing and clandestine space of the black site prison that, regardless of our pre-determined political stance on prisoner interrogation, nonetheless offers up some startling and challenging figures for thinking about the function of hospitality in the film. In asking us to recognize primarily the victims and the characters who work passionately and tirelessly to bring Bin Laden to justice, the film also asks our complicity in the strategies used to achieve that goal. What the construction and framing of the film cannot account for, however, are the ways in which a text is never entirely subject to the aims of its creators, and Zero Dark Thirty is no exception, revealing a disturbing acquiescence to torture but simultaneously propelling hospitality to the surface of debates over violence in ways that do not so simply suggest that such violence is hospitality’s failure. Instead, Zero Dark Thirty calls up a complex range of social conditions and ethics – via this invitation to view the “inside” of the conflict – aspects of which we may not want to accept, but that speak to a particularity of hospitality that is deeply concerned with 	  	  104	  notions of intimacy and violence, as the film makes clear in a scene of interrogation that unfolds after the somewhat delayed introduction in darkness. This interrogation, importantly, is not only of the prisoner but also of the assumptions made by viewers about the function of interrogation and violence, and the ways in which such intimate encounters confront a problem inherent to hospitality; namely, the extent to which hospitality always operates on the threshold of violence. For Richard Kearney and Kascha Semonovitch, the stranger is always encountered at the threshold, be it of the body, the mind, the thresholds of pleasure and pain, or the limits of culture (4). The scenes of prisoner interrogation in Zero Dark Thirty operate precisely at this threshold; a scene that is always a place of negotiation, the frontier of ethics and politics, and a place where difference is assessed and waged.  3.3 Intimacy and Hospitality in the Black Site Prison Following the voices that emerge in blackness to open the film, the scene cuts to another title, “Two years later,” and the dark screen is illuminated by a bright, swaying light. Another title reading “THE SAUDI GROUP” [sic] appears superimposed over the darkness (Bigelow) which fades to reveal what Boal acknowledges in his screenplay is a “black site” (1). We hear a metal door swinging loudly and footsteps moving closer. They belong to an American man, later revealed as a CIA interrogator, who walks confidently into the room, the camera panning around behind him to reveal who he is walking towards – a prisoner, dressed entirely in white and chained in a standing position. The interrogator pauses, considers his prisoner, and then speaks the first words in the film other than those belonging to the 9/11 victims: “I own you” (Bigelow). Later, we learn that this man is Daniel, described in the screenplay notes as “the CIA’s man in Islamabad – a big 	  	  105	  American, late 30’s, with a long, anarchical beard snaking down to this tattooed neck” (Boal 1). He speaks these words to his prisoner, Ammar, who stands on a dirty and disintegrating mat on the floor and is surrounded by four other guards who wear black ski masks over their heads. The prisoner looks up and reveals his beaten and bloody face while Daniel continues: “You belong to me. Look at me.” The guards move in and begin striking blows at the unresponsive Ammar as Daniel’s voice begins to shout: “If you don’t look at me when I talk to you, I hurt you…Now look at me” (Bigelow). Ammar looks down and away from Daniel, and instantly the hooded guards rush toward him, dragging him to another point in the room where they chain him up again in a forced standing position. Daniel and his guards then exit the room, leaving the prisoner in darkness. While not technically the opening moment of the film, this scene in the black site prison is both the initial visual introduction as well as the beginning of the actual narrative of the film. The scene introduces some critical figures and establishes context for the events to come but also exposes a relation between two characters that is unexpected, not in its deployment of violence but in what that violence comes to signify in the context of hospitality. To be sure, the scene establishes violence as a central feature of the narrative and reveals the lengths the CIA is willing to go to obtain information but, perhaps more compellingly, it conjures a provocative degree of intimacy that is overlooked in the debate over the depiction of torture in the film and suggests the film is quietly yet persistently concerned with what it means to live with others. The phrase, “Look at me,” repeated over and over by Daniel, is designed to elicit compliance and, ultimately, information, from Ammar, but it also suggests a closeness that comes by way of facing someone directly. Looking someone in the eye is not only a form of non-verbal communication, it is an invitation, but one complicated by its utterance here as more of a demand. Further, the 	  	  106	  cultural meanings associated with eye contact often vary, and lowered eyes or looking down could be viewed as a sign of deference rather than disrespect. Ammar’s reaction, then, must not be thought of immediately as disobedience but rather as the actions of one towards whom human rights and cultural sensitivities have been suspended. Regardless, eye contact is a bodily act that carries immense meaning and intimacy. In “Sociology of the Senses”, Georg Simmel unpacks the social significance of eye contact:  The eye is destined for a completely unique sociological achievement: the connection and interaction of individuals that lies in the act of individuals looking at one another. This is perhaps the most direct and the purest interaction that exists…[it] weaves people together, does not crystalize in any objective structure, but rather the unity that it creates between them remains directly suspended in the event and in the function. This connection is so strong and delicate…what this first sight of that person conveys to us cannot be dissolved or transposed into such conceptual and expressible things. (111-113) While Simmel clearly situates his reading of eye contact within a Western cultural paradigm, his description is useful in unpacking how the desire for eye contact functions in the scene of interrogation. Simmel suggests that beyond (and even before) language, there is a primary tie established when two parties look at each other. Before the other speaks, his eyes bring him into this relation. Yet, in the case of Daniel and Ammar, only one responds to this tie. While Ammar bows his head, Daniel insists upon being seen. Indeed, while the other guards all wear ski masks, disguising their identity, Daniel does not – his face and eyes are readily exposed and further suggestive of his desire to meet Ammar’s gaze. Thus, while it may be tempting to read this scene as an indication of Daniel’s desire for information and need to exhibit the power he has over the prisoner, it is curious that he uses 	  	  107	  language so tellingly evocative of intimacy – “Look at me” – and the eye contact he seeks reflects a desire for closer rather than more distant relations with the prisoner.  There is something in this scene of encounter that disturbs, even defies, the expectations of the prisoner/interrogator dynamic, particularly as we consider that Daniel’s desire here could very well be for a sadistic intimacy and a failure to expose the prisoner rather than open himself to the risk that intimacy so often entails. As viewers, we expect confrontation, even violence, and we are accustomed to seeing different degrees of intimacy played out on screen, but this moment in Zero Dark Thirty challenges the way we understand both. This intimacy is more unsettling in its deployment and confronts the viewer with entirely new questions about what possibilities may lie in an intimate encounter. In this case, intimacy is enacted in the event of torture against the prisoner’s body, yet it also suggests that hospitality is almost always an encounter with violence that is often, but not always or entirely, physical. Daniel’s claim that he “owns” Ammar, however, suggests a different kind of violence – an assault not on the physical body of the prisoner but on the very alterity that Daniel loathes so fiercely. By “owning” Ammar, Daniel translates him into something knowable – the stranger becomes the foreigner – and mitigates his difference by incorporating Ammar into his own schema of identity. Rather than expel him as something wholly other, and in so doing actually preserve that difference, Daniel transforms Ammar into someone “who can be tracked, classified and computed, someone who is no longer uncanny, frightening, or surprising” (Kearney and Semonovitch 6). “Owning,” in this case, is also a way of knowing and, in a perversion of hospitality, Daniel arranges the scene in such a way as to ensure Ammar is at home – albeit it, in an entirely unsafe home – in order to draw Ammar from the realm of unknowability into a regime of familiarity. Indeed, as Kearney and Semonovitch elaborate, “once the Stranger 	  	  108	  finds a home – even if it be a home away from home – it loses its otherness and becomes an ally or adversary” (6). In providing this “home” for Ammar, then, Daniel is not ensuring that Ammar’s difference is preserved; rather, he is containing his alterity in order to know it and eliminate it.   3.3.1 Historical Hospitality: Violence and Intimacy in the Ottoman Harem  Why then, is this particular violence of intimacy – an intimacy designed to mitigate absolute alterity – so crucial for thinking through the ways in which strangers are encountered? Is intimacy not one of the ways in which the self opens to hospitality and thereby engages in a more ethical set of relations? Surely Daniel’s exposure, eye contact and close proximity reveal, at the very least, his need for the prisoner who fulfills Daniel’s desire for racial, gendered and sexual superiority. But how is a turn toward such possibilities complicated in the context of an intimacy that can slide so easily into violence? To be sure, Zero Dark Thirty does not convey a desire for hospitality towards others. Its central narrative is one of strength and perseverance rather than vulnerability, yet these moments of intimacy linger to offer questions more important than how Bin Laden was killed or how the CIA’s supposedly defunct detainee program operates. While the opening scenes of victimization and torture certainly attempt to establish context and historical justification for the narrative events to follow, they also immediately set the film up as one intimately concerned with hospitality, even and especially if we remember that host and hostage are closely connected concepts – indeed, they stem from the same root, hostis which means both benign host and hostile enemy (Kearney, Strangers 68). Looking someone in the eye, the scene’s figure for an ambivalent welcome, stages important questions about the structures of visibility that operate in black site prisons and, indeed, any 	  	  109	  scene of violence. What is it, for example, that lurks behind these structures of visibility and concealment, and behind the tenuous relationship these structures have with the practice of intimacy – in particular an intimacy that highlights difference? What might we make of the genealogy of representation that makes the depiction of torture in Zero Dark Thirty intelligible in a particular way? Such powerful and ambivalent scenes of encounter, structured within the confined spaces of the black site prison are not new within Western narratives of life in the Middle East. Zero Dark Thirty evokes significant preoccupations with discourses of gender, knowledge, visibility, and power that suggests the black site is a figure with multiple lives.  Through the black site, the film attends to a number of diverse figures of failed and potential hospitality but in order to do so, draws upon a number of latent and wide-ranging discourses, some oddly familiar, that call up a much older psychic animation of the Ottoman harem as it is produced as a figure of Western fantasy, and that render the prison not nearly as exceptional or foreign as it may first appear. Indeed, this scene calls to mind a number of figures representative of the harem30 – a peculiar but instructive counterpart to the figures of hospitality operating within the black site prison. Yet it is not the historical and cultural harem per se that provides such a useful lens through which to read hospitality but rather, the ways in which the harem operates as a figure of a western and Orientalist 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  30 Etymologically, harim refers to the part of the house that is sealed off or forbidden from anyone but the owner (Schick 70), yet both scholarly and literary accounts characterize this seclusion in much less simple terms. The harem actively breaks down distinctions between inside and outside, guest and host, as much and as often as it reinforces them. As Schick explains, “women routinely engaged in social, economic, and even political activities from behind harem walls, suggesting that the word private in the sense commonly given it in the Western context today fails to capture the full range of experiences in which women participated there” (77). Although Schick does not refer explicitly to a discourse of hospitality, he complicates the notion of harem as a cordoned off or secluded space, an inference that has significant implications for hospitality for it reveals that such borders are more porous than dominant language and representation often allow. Indeed, while hospitality is often framed as a relation between inside and outside spaces, the harem illustrates how it might operate in lieu of such distinctions and, indeed, might fail when such distinctions are too readily enforced. 	  	  110	  imaginary. As a trope of enclosure and concealment, and always hovering on the edge of violence, the Orientalist harem may recall a historical figure, but must be understood a symbol of Western assumptions and knowledge about the East, and it is this fantasy  - not its historical referent – that emerges again as the unacknowledged ghost behind crucial operations of power at work in the War on Terror. At first glance, the Orientalist harem does not seem to have much to do with these contemporary cultural texts, yet it actually provides a stunningly compelling figure for thinking about hospitality’s crucial relation to the discourses of intimacy that operate in Zero Dark Thirty. The harem is not meant to be read here as a specific location of a set of cultural and/or religious practices, nor should its metaphoric figuration be confined to a particular era. Rather, it is a figure – an imaginative conjuring – that underwrites and even haunts the representation of torture in Zero Dark Thirty and is found lurking in the notions of inside and outside, visibility and concealment, and intimacy and strangeness that permeate the film’s depiction of prison violence. As an enclosed space for women, often removed from the quarters and vision of men, the Ottoman harem certainly existed as a space of gendered exclusion but took on entirely new descriptions via an Orientalist imagination that operated in consistently inhospitable ways towards the diverse realities of life in the Middle East of the 18th century. In many ways, the harem came to be represented in art, fiction and travel writing as the locus of Western and binarized fantasies about the east. In particular, the harem functioned as a container of Orientalist notions about veiling (and unveiling), aberrant sexuality and excess. Eric Meyer describes the harem as “the obscure object of Western desire” (667), a fitting characterization of Western attempts to know and control the East – it is an object, in other words, that does not so much contain as it is contained by an Orientalist imaginary. In her much cited text on the representations of the Ottoman harem, Mary Roberts suggests 	  	  111	  that visitors to the harem viewed themselves as “intimate outsiders.”31 Such a term highlights not only the deep fascination that travellers – and women in particular – had with the harem; it also “emphasizes the tension between the two ideas, intimacy and outsideness” (Roberts 10). As a figure of enclosure, however, the harem offers even more, containing Western orientalist desires and projections but not so rigidly that they do not surface over and over again. Such tensions are crucial in unpacking the complexity of hospitality and reveal hospitality to be a philosophy deeply embedded, but not always recognizably so, in structures of intimacy.  The harem also calls up another figure of tenuous hospitality – the postcolonial city of refuge, in which refugees “are expected to be set aside, excluded, banned from the community. They are not total outsiders, but their mode of belonging makes them eternally fragile guests” (Rosello, Postcolonial 165). Originally configured, in biblical times, as a space of protection and asylum for perpetrators of violent crime, the city of refuge is deployed in the context of postcolonialism by Mireille Rosello as an expression of a more political or cultural asylum; namely, the extension of hospitality towards those who have already experienced inhospitality. Unlike the historical city of refuge, in which the identity of the refugee “remains ambivalent, complex and contradictory,” the postcolonial seeker of refuge is more readily seen as innocent (Rosello, Postcolonial 155-156). As Rosello notes, limiting hospitality to only innocent guests is not hospitality at all but places the asylum seeker in a precarious position of being neither welcomed guest nor hostile enemy: “this need to be a victim is what makes the status of international or political refugees so 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  31 See Intimate Outsiders: The Harem in Ottoman and Orientalist Art and Culture (Durham: Duke UP, 2007. Print), in which Roberts takes up the representations of the harem constructed by a variety of visitors who were given access to the inner quarters of Ottoman households.  	  	  112	  problematic” (Rosello, Postcolonial 156). Moreover, the “ambivalent, complex, and contradictory” guest is what defines a true or pure – and perhaps impossible – act of hospitality par excellence. Rosello’s claims do not discount the possibility of hospitality in a cultural climate saturated with suspicion; rather, she points to the necessity of recognizing the guest who may, indeed, be hostile, a risk perhaps exacerbated by intimacy. Such risks are also highlighted in the space of the harem which operates not only as a barrier to what is outside but potentially holds that which is foreign or even dangerous inside, as hostage rather than guest. Both the city of refuge and the harem call up a complex genealogy of hospitality that reaches towards our contemporary moment. Indeed, the harem operates as a site of containment similar to that of the black site prison and yet the harem is also a useful lens through which to read other particularities of intimacy within Zero Dark Thirty, among these, the many ways in which hospitality operates within a discourse of desire.  3.4 Hospitality and desire Certainly, there are moments and figures of hospitality in Zero Dark Thirty that exceed the metaphor of the harem, yet it remains a compelling construct through which to unpack the ways in which the representation of violence towards prisoners operates within historical frameworks of race, gender and sexuality. While the depiction of torture in Zero Dark Thirty certainly frames such acts of violence as part of the coercive mechanism of interrogation, these are scenes of violence that are permeated by moments of desire conditioned by forces inherited from the past. These acts call up an overt violence in the way they are encountered within a conventional framework of recognition, but upon close reading, it is not violence per se but, rather, desire that seems to underwrite every moment, line of dialogue, and cinematographic technique used in building the scene. This framing of 	  	  113	  intimacy and desire is established immediately as Daniel walks into the interrogation room for a second time and, while there are others watching, assures Ammar that “it’s you and me, bro” (Bigelow). Ammar, for his part, refuses this incursion of intimacy and accuses Daniel of being merely a “mid-level guy…a garbage man in the corporation” (Bigelow). His superiority challenged, the next time Daniel returns to the interrogation chamber, he is armed with a new strategy for asserting his dominance. He walks in confidently to loud, heavy-metal music and illuminates the dark room by shining a spotlight on Ammar, exposing him to the guards while keeping them hidden from view. The entire mise-en-scène calls to mind a film-set within the larger narrative of Zero Dark Thirty itself, though a scene more akin to pornography than political drama as Ammar is made to perform his difference – not an expression of his irreducible otherness but a difference made familiar through the work of stereotypes and Orientalist imagining – for the pleasure of those watching. Daniel proceeds to feign hospitality, offering Ammar a chair, food and drink, and seat across from him, yet when the prisoner again proves resistant to Daniel’s techniques, the chair is kicked out from under him and Ammar is forced to his feet. Daniel stands behind him, holding him, and speaks into his ear “you don’t mind if my female colleague there checks out your junk, do ya bro [sic]?” (Bigelow). He then strips Ammar from the waist down and leaves the room, ordering Maya to remain. The close up images of individual faces – Maya’s uncertainty, Daniel’s defiance, and Ammar’s shame – are interspersed with repetitive images of the room shot from behind Ammar, who stands, his back to the viewer, legs apart and arms extended outward in a crucifixion like posture. Daniel then returns with a dog collar and wraps his arms around the struggling prisoner to place the collar around Ammar’s neck. Daniel undoes the shackles on Ammar’s arms and proceeds to lead him, crawling, around the cell by way of a chained leash. Several times, Daniel leans into 	  	  114	  Ammar, pressing his body to Ammar’s back and the prisoner’s still-naked body into the ground, and as he moves closer with each warning, he whispers into Ammar’s ear. These are threats, to be sure, but they are uttered in forced intimacy and closeness. Both shots, of Ammar being led by a leash and of his arms outstretched, call up the photographs of real-life torture taken by guards at Abu Ghraib prison and publicly exposed by Salon magazine in 2004.32  The image of Ammar standing shacked by his arms is almost an exact replica of the staged photo of a prisoner at Abu Ghraib, who also stands, naked and facing away, his arms spread and covered in his own waste. Interestingly, the iconography of the prisoner’s pose in both cases subscribes to notions of the suffering Christ in both posture and in the use of ritualistic and humiliating violence. Yet the posture is complex as it offers the potential humanization of the detainee by reconstructing the Christian scene as one born of a desire to watch the suffering of an innocent other and suggests a possible subversive act on the part of the detainee as he stretches out his arms in what is perhaps a mocking acceptance of his fate just as Christ accepted his. Similarly, the placement of a dog collar around Ammar’s neck reminds the viewer of the infamous images of Private First Class Lynndie England pulling an Abu Ghraib prisoner from his cell while tethered to a leather strap. The familiarity of the scene of torture in Zero Dark Thirty blurs the distinction between reality and representation in cyclical fashion, creatively 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  32 The visual archive of Abu Ghraib includes hundreds of photographs of United States soldiers – Charles Graner, Lynndie England and others – and reveals a multitude of abuses. These include but are not limited to, sexual abuse and humiliation, electrical torture, dog attacks, sleep deprivation, stress inducing positions, subjection to chemicals and bodily fluids and beating leading to severe injury and even death. Images of these offenses, recorded by guards at the prison, came to the attention of the American military at the beginning of 2004, when Specialist Joseph Darby handed over photographic evidence of the abuse to the military’s Criminal Investigation Command (CID) (“The Abu Ghraib Files”).  While the photos first appeared to the public several months later via CBS News and the New Yorker, Salon Magazine hosts an online archive where 279 of the images are stored and painstakingly organized with the times, dates and details of abuse uncovered by the CID’s investigation. 	  	  115	  framing a moment of torture (in which two actors perform) that harkens back to an incident of “real” torture that was also, in many ways, a staged performance. The performance on film, then, becomes reminiscent of reality while the real event comes to be understood as staged. Both the representation and its referent in “real-life” contain elements of true and performative violence, as fact and fiction sustain one another and, thus, the violence perpetuated at a nameless and un-locatable place in the film must be read with an understanding that these sites are somewhere and, in that somewhere, real suffering occurs. The recognition of the real violence lurking behind the staged alerts the viewer, then, to his or her own desire and simultaneous shame. What does it mean to view the film as entertainment whose entire climax depends on the event of torture to propel the narrative forward? Moreover, how do we, as viewers, distinguish our act of watching here from the watching of real visual representations (photographs and video) of torture that were produced and disseminated primarily for their entertainment value? Shame, then, operates on a number of levels but ultimately the treatment of Ammar is recognized as shameful – be it the shame of the guards, the viewer, or Ammar himself – because the filmic representation of torture operates within the language of “prison scandal” made familiar by the infamy of Abu Ghraib. To respond to the film as simply a justification of violent interrogation, however, is to miss what is operating alongside the violence; that is, a sense of desire that is made far more complicated by the shame cast upon it by that which it recalls in real life.   3.4.1 Gender and Difference In the case of Zero Dark Thirty, the attempts to render the prisoner sexually deviant produce more shame – initially, for Ammar and then, later, for Daniel and the viewer – than 	  	  116	  actionable result and whatever humiliation he feels, it fails to materialize in the form of delivering what the interrogator wants. Or, perhaps, it is precisely what the interrogator wants, as his rituals of interrogation are far more useful in constructing an abject deviance than they are at producing intelligence. It is particularly telling that Daniel uses the presence of his new colleague, Maya, to further expose his prisoner under the assumption that he may be more vulnerable to a particularly gendered form of humiliation. Yet it is Maya, the female observer in this scenario, who seems the most unsettled as she refuses to make eye contact with the prisoner who, instead, engages her when the interrogator leaves them alone together in the cell. He pleads for help and, while Maya suggests only that he “can help [him]self by being truthful” (Bigelow), she certainly represents a more tempered approach to detainee interrogation, a difference that must be interpreted as gendered within the frame made available by the film. Even the notes in the screenplay suggest that, as a woman, Maya is not equipped to deal with the realities of her job – an assumption that, to be sure, is prevalent in a variety of entertainment media in both inflammatory and benign ways. In Boal’s notes, Maya “flinches,” “struggles to meet [Ammar’s] eyes,” and realizes that Daniel is “testing her resilience too” (Boal 13-14). In this scene, power is conferred not only upon those who are willing to enact the most violence but on those who are willing to get the closest to that violence.  It is specifically the suggestion of sexual violence that causes Maya to back away while Daniel presses on. Torture, then, comes to be coded as intimate precisely through its association with, and perversion of, sexuality that often and readily signifies intimacy. It is a violence, however, that ultimately betrays intimacy and is complicated by the way in which it is witnessed by the viewer, not through Daniel but, rather, through Maya who becomes nearly as powerless as Ammar in the relations of interrogation depicted by the film. Yet at the same time, the scene suggests women are not 	  	  117	  able to sustain the violence that occurs in the black site prison, it also offers the audience a more moderate character through whom to view the scene, not as torturer but as witness. Thus, while the scenes of torture must be viewed within frameworks of racialized and sexualized violence, their engagement with matters of intimacy need also to be situated within a broader and incredibly complex gender paradigm in which women are intimately engaged in acts of torture while excluded from the larger processes and successes of war – not to mention the ways in which those who do not or will not engage in torture are subsequently feminized. Zero Dark Thirty presents an oddly feminist narrative – one that places its central female character in a position between a patriarchal intelligence complex and a war claiming to exist in some part for women’s rights. Gender is another way of establishing difference in the film, but one that exists in hierarchical proportion to other discourses of alterity and violence. One of the ways that the film establishes difference is in the juxtaposition between Maya and the men to whom she reports. The assumptions made on the basis of her gender alert the viewer to the ways in which operations of superiority and difference are not limited to the intimacy of prisoner/interrogator relations. Despite Maya’s decision not to conceal her identity beneath a black hood like the other guards, she is still mocked for “rockin’ her best suit” to her first interrogation and questioned on her ability to handle “the hard stuff” (Bigelow). She is introduced in stark contrast to Daniel, the “paramilitary hipster…with a glock”, particularly in the screenplay notes where she is described as “beautiful…[with] “a pale, milky innocence and bright blue eyes, thin and somewhat frail looking” (Boal 1). This description, coupled with her pained expression while observing the torture of Ammar and in comparison to the ease with which Daniel seems to inflict pain on the prisoner, seems to suggest that violence comes more naturally 	  	  118	  to men. While Daniel’s knowledge about a low-level prisoner is unquestioned by his CIA colleagues, Maya’s narrative becomes one of relentless perseverance despite the continual doubts of her superiors. Later, after being reassigned to work the Bin Laden case from CIA headquarters, Maya and her boss, Steve, go to present their case for the fugitive’s whereabouts to the director of the agency. Walking into a large conference room, Maya moves confidently towards a seat at the table, only to have Steve tell her that she should take a seat against the wall instead. He apologizes at the same time as he points her in the correct direction, wagging his finger back and forth as if she is an errant child. She complies, with a tense smile, and proceeds to sit at the back of the room, arms crossed. She stands to greet the CIA director, who does not acknowledge her, and he is briefed by Steve on the intelligence that Maya has compiled. None of the eight men in the room ask for Maya’s input, yet she interjects regardless when the facts are presented too vaguely for her taste, correcting a measurement of “about a mile” to a precise “4221 feet…closer to eight-tenths of a mile” (Bigelow). Her voice is authoritative but still met with an annoyed “who are you?” from the Director, to whom she responds, confidently and with full eye contact: “I’m the motherfucker who found this place…sir” (Bigelow). While the gendering of hospitality – that is, a hospitality that is both offered differentially according to markers of gender and within a haremized discourse of the domestic – is made apparent by the film’s plot and its relations between characters, it is also evident in the structure of the film itself, as a narrative that invites its audience to participate in a historical chain of events. The film frames the viewer within this gendered narrative and greets its audience with particular expectations as to how one should respond to gender relations in the War on Terror. The narrative is, at many moments, a feminist one, as we see a woman fighting against male dominance – a model perhaps for the larger 	  	  119	  rhetoric that posits the War on Terror as a battle against a religious fundamentalism represented as profoundly patriarchal. While the film fits within a discourse of what Jasbir Puar calls “sexually progressive multiculturalism” (336), that narrative canopy is challenged by the more intimate and paradoxical means of achieving that end. In dominant War on Terror rhetoric, prisoners – and those held at Abu Ghraib are the most notorious example here – are seen as deviantly and excessively queer yet simultaneously critiqued for their own pre-modern beliefs about women and homosexuality. Rather than confront this paradox, a hierarchy emerges where some relations of subordination are excusable – the treatment of Ammar, for example – while others are not. As Ahmed reminds us, difference is not always represented or assigned in equal fashion. Zero Dark Thirty certainly highlights this economy of difference by positioning Maya as different but not aberrantly so, as is the case in the depiction of Ammar. That Boal and Bigelow position Maya as the only woman at a table full of men only serves to reinforce this economy – she is a subject who is almost the same, but “not quite” in Bhabha’s famous words – and she is simultaneously coded as feminine (young, white, emotional, and presumably heterosexual) but capable of playing a man’s game. This is, importantly, a cinematic feature; in reality, the CIA team tasked with finding Bin Laden was comprised of “mostly” women (Bergen, qtd. in “Hunt”), rather than one woman struggling to be heard in a room of men. Yet reality still follows suit in this economy of difference as these women remain anonymous and unglorified, in stark contrast to the Navy Seals, for instance, whose actions are well-documented.33 National Security Analyst for CNN, Peter Bergen, echoes these gendered 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  33 The most recent examples of these are, of course, Robert O’Neil, recently identified as having fired the shots that ended Bin Laden’s life, and Chris Kyle, who is portrayed by actor Bradley Cooper in the film American Sniper – nominated for the 2015 Best Picture Oscar. 	  	  120	  hierarchies of difference and recognition in a summation of women’s roles in the CIA.  While he acknowledges the increasingly degree to which women are securing leadership positions within the CIA, Bergen suggests “[Women] don't tell war stories. They're more focused and they get the job done…[I]t was a small group and it was a group that was regarded as being somewhat overly interested in bin Laden, almost maniacally so” (qtd. in “Hunt,” emphasis added). It is Bergen’s adjective of choice here – “maniacally” – that exposes the gendered dimensions of labour in the CIA. To be sure, Maya’s subordinate position is internally critiqued in the film; we sense her palpable distaste at being thrust aside to make room for men’s ambitions and her character is, indeed, a sympathetic one who can “keep up” so to speak with her male counterparts yet also experience moments