Language is never just a means of communication. It terrorizes. And, especially in times of war, it has the ability to target civilians and generate fear as a means of producing specific political outcomes, most notably the passive and active acceptance of state violence itself. For this reason, the critical examination of language must be a central part of any effort to fight imperialism, militarism, demagoguery, racism, sexism, and other structures of injustice. Globalizing Collateral Language examines the discourse surrounding 9/11 and its entrenchment in global politics and culture.
To interrogate this wartime lexicon of “collateral language,” editors John Collins and Somdeep Sen have assembled a volume of critical essays that explores the long shadow of America’s “War on Terror” discourse. They illuminate how this language has now found resonance across the globe and in political projects that have little to do with the “War on Terror.” Two decades after the attacks of September 11, 2001, this book calls on us to resist the tyranny of collateral language at a time when the need for such interventions in the public sphere is more urgent than ever.