Call for Proposals

Canadian Social Studies Special Issue

Echoes of Terror(ism): International Contemplations and Reflections On 9/11

Edited by

Dr. Bretton Varga (University of California, Chico)

Dr. Muna Saleh (Concordia University of Edmonton)

Dr. Cathryn van Kessel (University of Alberta)

On September 11, 2001 the world watched as four commercial airplanes were hijacked and subsequently weaponized. While three of the planes were (calculatingly) flown into the World Trade Center’s north and south towers and Pentagon-the headquarters building of the United States’ headquarters of defense-the fourth plane (e.g., United Airlines Flight 93) crashed into a field 65 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania due to the (re)actions of passengers attempting to reclaim control of the flight. In total, close to 3,000 people (e.g., both U.S. and foreign civilians, law enforcement agents, fire fighters, government employees) lost their lives and 6,000 others were injured (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, 2004).

The implications of these events foregrounded the complex nature of terror and how it is enacted, interpreted, cultivated, and experienced in (and by) assorted communities. Anti-Muslim sentiment and rhetoric is not a new phenomenon (Aslan, 2011; Mattson, 2013; Said, 1978); however, as the United States responded to the cross-currents of terrorism responsible for the 9/11 attacks with President Bush’s ‘War on Terror’ and passing of ‘Patriot Act’, racial exclusion and emotional, physical and verbal terrorism specifically towards Muslim communities and racialized communities perceived to be Muslim magnified post-9/11 (Ahluwalia & Pellettiere, 2010; Bakali, 2016; Naber, 2006). Despite surveillance of racialized communities being baked into the architecture of American society (Browne, 2015), anti-Muslim prejudice and discrimination continues to surge post 9/11 in both Canada and the United States (Eid & Kareem, 2011; Ghosh, 2008; Kendi, 2017; Li, 2007; Poynting & Perry, 2007). Notwithstanding these societal and communal transgressions, “another response to Terror has been to put quotation marks around it- to commodify it, relexicalize it for History and Geography, museumize it” (Spivak, 2004). Furthermore, 9/11 set into motion psychological processes linked to humans’ fears of mortality, such as distractions from self-awareness, reaffirming “the American way of life” (and the consequences of such affirmations), a drive to support charismatic and more authoritarian-style leaders, and the suppression of dissenting voices, among other effects (Kosloff et al., 2009; Pyszczynski et al., 2003).

As the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, we contemplate and reflect on the current social/political imagination of terror and American/Canadian patriotism presupposing that “people without status and with a certain profile must earn and deserve their place in society [and] must prove why they should not be suspects, jailed, and shipped away” (Nguyen, 2005, p. XV). Acknowledging and honouring the work of countless community organizers, activists, educators, and researchers - particularly those from within Muslim communities - we nonetheless wonder at the ways that anti-Muslim discourse(s), legislation, and practices continue to grow and evolve over time, as evidenced by calls for a “Muslim Travel Ban” in the United States (Yuhas & Sidahmed, 2017) and “Barbaric Practices Hotline” in Canada (MacDonald, 2015). So, in this special issue of Canadian Social Studies, we take a cue from Spivak (2004) who asked: How can we offer a response in the face of the (seeming) impossibility of response?

Within this context, we have been thinking about the following questions as a framework for this special issue:

  1. How have the nuances of terror resulting from 9/11 shaped and reshaped elements of social studies curriculum and pedagogy (e.g., concepts of patriotism, citizenship, policing, and borders), including the hidden curriculum?
  2. How have educators, researchers, and/or activists responded to the need to educate for Muslim lives? How has their work been taken up in educational and scholarly discourses and contexts?
  3. How might we understand contemporary events couched in terror in light of issues illuminated by 9/11 and responses to it (e.g., issues of racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia)? How are social studies educators engaging with stories of resistance and resilience?
  4. To what end has the Black Lives Matter movement (especially the surge of U.S. and global protests and uprisings after the death of George Floyd) intersected and/or overlapped with phenomena related to 9/11 and its harmful undertow?
  5. In what ways is 9/11 remembered by communities and recollected by individuals?
  6. How has terror historically influenced the articulation and expression of patriotism?
  7. How does (racial) terror continue to react to acts of resistance against it?
  8. In what ways have Muslim students, educators, and/or families/caregivers experienced the ongoing violent and traumatic reverberations of 9/11 (e.g., Muslim travel ban, the “Barbaric Practices” Hotline in Canada)? And, how might we co-create learning and experiences with our students to thwart, or even supplant these reverberations?

Authors do not have to adhere rigidly to these questions. We merely offer these as provocations for possible engagement. Both conceptual and empirical articles are welcome, as are a variety of theoretical framings.

Proposal Specifications

  • Proposals should be around 500-750 words
  • Full papers can range from 2,500 to 6,000 words, but exceptions can be made to the word count if the topic requires such depth and authors ask in advance (e.g., if there is a need for a robust explanation of the theoretical framework). Non-textual elements (e.g., the author’s original art) are also welcome alongside a written submission, if desired.
  • This special issue will use APA 7 style guidelines
  • Authors are responsible for obtaining written copyright permission for the use of pictures, tables, maps, diagrams, etc., and longer quotations appearing in their submissions. Any copyright permission must accompany the full paper submission.
  • Direct all queries and submissions to:


Oct. 15, 2020: Proposals due (500-750 words, excluding references)

Nov. 6, 2020: Decisions communicated to authors

Feb. 26, 2021: Full papers due

Mar. 31, 2021: Feedback communicated to authors

May 14, 2021: Deadline for revisions

July 15, 2021: Release of the special issue

Journal Information

Canadian Social Studies (CSS) is an indexed, refereed open-access journal published at the University of Alberta. Our 2019 Eric report indicated that we have had 6,150 views and 3,482 downloads of CSS articles (and these numbers do “not include the views at third-party providers of ERIC or at the publisher's website”). CSS, since its inception, has both drawn from and pointed to the multiple historical, sociological, geographical, and philosophical/theoretical/political perspectives that constitute the field of social studies education. Focusing on education’s role in helping to foster a better future, the journal publishes original, peer reviewed conceptual and empirical studies. Its purpose is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and research findings that will further the understanding and development of social studies education. CSS is especially interested in contributions that make strong connections between theory and practice.


Ahluwalia, M. K., & Pellettiere, L. (2010). Sikh men post-9/11: Misidentification, discrimination, and coping. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 1(4), 303–314.

Aslan, R. (2011). No god but God: The origins and evolution of Islam. Delacorte.

Bakali, N. (2016). Islamophobia: Understanding anti-Muslim racism through the lived experiences of Muslim youth. Springer.

Browne, S. (2015). Dark matters: On the surveillance of blackness. Duke University Press.

Eid, M., & Karim, K. H. (2011). Ten years after 9/11—What have we learned? Global Media Journal—Canadian Edition, 4(2), 1–12.

Ghosh, R. (2008). Racism: A hidden curriculum. Education Canada, 48(4), 26–29.

Naber, N. (2006). The rules of forced engagement: Race, gender, and the culture of fear among Arab immigrants in San Francisco post-9/11. Cultural Dynamics, 18(3), 235–267.

Kendi, I. X. (2017). Stamped from the beginning: The definitive history of racist ideas in America. Nation.

Kosloff, S., Landau, M., Weise, D., Sullivan, D., & Greenberg, J. (2009). Eight years in the wake of 9/11: A terror management analysis of the psychological repercussions of the 9/11 attacks. In M. J. Morgan (Ed.), The impact of 9/11 on psychology and education (pp. 7–22). Palgrave Macmillan.

Li, P. (2007). Contradictions in racial discourse. In V. Agnew (Ed.), Interrogating race and racism (pp. 37–54). University of Toronto Press.

Macdonald, N. (2015, October 6). The barbaric cultural practice of election pronouncements: A steady throb of anti-Muslim sentiment appears to be running through the current campaign. CBC News.

Mattson, I. (2014, March). Rooting a Canadian Muslim identity [video file].

Nguyen, T. (2005). We are all suspects now: Untold stories from immigrant communities after 9/11. Beacon.

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (2004). The 9/11 Commission report: Final report of the National Commission on terrorist attacks upon the United States (Authorized ed., 1st ed.). Norton.

Poynting, S., & Perry, B. (2007). Climates of hate: Media and state inspired victimisation of Muslims in Canada and Australia since 9/11. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 19(2), 151–171.

Pyszczynski, T., Solomon, S., & Greenberg, J. (2003). In the wake of 9/11: The psychology of terror. American Psychological Association.

Said, E. (1978). Orientalism. Random House.

Spivak, G. C. (2004). Terror: A speech after 9-11. boundary 2, 31(2), 81–111.

Yuhas, A., & Sidahmed, M. (2017, January 31). Is this a Muslim ban? Trump's executive order explained. The Guardian.