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Screening Terror on the West Wing

Holland, J (2011) Screening Terror on the West Wing In: Screens of Terror: Representations of War and Terrorism in Film and Television after 9/11. Arima Publishing, Bury. ISBN 1845495012

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Jack Holland - FINAL West Wing Chapter for Screens of Terror - Submitted 23 May 2011.pdf
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Abstract

This chapter situates a special stand-alone episode of The West Wing ‘Isaac and Ishmael’, within the broader context of the emerging ‘War on Terror’, arguing that the show played an important role in communicating terrorism for the American public and in narrowing the space for debate in the wake of 9/11. To make this argument, the episode is analysed through a discourse analysis as part of the evolving approach to the screening of terror adopted in The West Wing. It is argued that The West Wing’s approach to screening terror responded to the context of the moment before during and after the events of September 11th. This response equated to a worrying reinforcement of dominant discourses. To demonstrate this reinforcement and its impact, the chapter is organised in three sections. First, the changing context of terror and American politics, in which The West Wing aired and evolved, is set out. Second, the chapter pivots around the date of September 11th 2001 to examine the portrayal of terrorism in The West Wing before, during and after the tumultuous moment of September 11th 2001. And third, the chapter reflects on the narrowing of debates performed by screenings of terror in The West Wing through a consideration of the role of television in the production of political (im)possibility.

Item Type: Book Section
Related URLs:
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > Politics
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2012 19:16
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 19:15
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/239128

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