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Conference Marking the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11

Press Release No. 276/2011
26 August 2011
Heidelberg Center for American Studies welcomes Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Peter Struck

Former German cabinet members Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Peter Struck  will participate in a conference at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) marking the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Under the title “Zeitenwende 11. September? Eine transatlantische Bilanz zehn Jahre danach” (“Turning Point 9/11? A Transatlantic Stocktaking Ten Years On”), the organisers intend to scrutinise historical and political assessments of the effects of 9/11, hoping to encourage new research directions. The conference, which will be held from 9 to 11 September 2011, is jointly convened by the HCA, Heidelberg University’s Centre for European Historical and Cultural Studies (ZEGK), and the Institute of English and American Studies at Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main.

“September 11th, 2001, is etched on our memories as the date of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington,” says Till Karmann, one of the conveners of the conference. “But was 9/11 a ‘day that changed the world’?” Conference participants will discuss the impact of 9/11 on American security policy and on European and German foreign policy. Other subjects addressed include the coverage of 9/11 in the media, the historical development of anti-Americanism and anti-Europeanism, the role of Islamic minorities in Europe and the US, as well as immigration and immigration policies. Some 30 speakers are expected, representing the fields of history, political science, literary studies, religious studies, psychology, sociology and communication studies. The conference is open to the public. It will take place at the HCA's Curt and Heidemarie Engelhorn Palais, Hauptstrasse 120, Heidelberg, and is supported by the Transatlantic Programme of the Federal Republic of Germany through funding from the European Recovery Programme (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Head of the Federal Chancellery at the time of the attacks and Foreign Minister from 2005 to 2009, will deliver the keynote address of the conference on Friday, September 9th, at 6.30 pm. His lecture, “Der 11. September 2001: Innenansichten aus dem Kanzleramt” (“September 11: The View from the Chancellery”), is open to the public and will take place in the Great Hall of the New University (Neue Aula). At present, Steinmeier is chairman of the Social Democrats’ (SPD) parliamentary group in the German Bundestag. The conference will conclude with another public event on Sunday, September 11th. From 10 am to 12.30 pm, former defence minister Peter Struck will be taking part in a roundtable discussion on the topic “Zeitenwende 9/11?” (“Turning Point 9/11?”). This event will take place at the HCA's Curt and Heidemarie Engelhorn Palais, Hauptstrasse 120. Other panelists include Prof. Dr. Manfred Berg, Curt Engelhorn Chair of American History at Heidelberg University’s Department of History, US journalist Heather De Lisle, and Prof. Dr. Bernd Greiner of the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, author of the book “9/11: Der Tag, die Angst, die Folgen” (“9/11: The Day, the Fear, the Consequences”). The roundtable will be moderated by Olivia Schoeller of the daily Berliner Zeitung.

For more information on the conference, go to Please register via e-mail to

Dr. Wilfried Mausbach
Heidelberg Center for American Studies
phone: +49 6221 543712

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