In the years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, hundreds of 9/11 memorials have been built in the United States and around the world. The global circulation of 9/11 memorials is unusual, as permanent commemorations of the tragedies of particular nations are typically confined to those nations. The "Memorial Mapping: Transnational 9/11 Memorials" project "maps" 9/11 memorials built in countries other than the United States, providing a geographic database of their locations, styles, subjects, dedication histories, and audiences. It is intended as a public digital archive that considers the cultural and political determinants motivating such memorials, understanding curation as a critical intellectual act. The impact of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 was widespread, immense, and enduring, ranging from the War On Terror to the making of memorials. "Memorial Mapping: Transnational 9/11 Memorials" traces the aesthetic forms, subjects, and locations of transnational 9/11 memorials, considering how and why 9/11 memories circulate globally on visual and material terms. Why, for example, do other nations commemorate terrorist attacks against the United States? What are the cultural and political determinants motivating such memorials? What are their intended effects?
Such questions are at the core of a growing transnational studies movement that is especially attentive to the people, places, and products of an increasingly interconnected world. They are also central to the growing field of commemorative studies, which looks at memorials, monuments, and other forms of remembrance to examine the roles they play in social, cultural, and national identities. Organized as an archive of data displayed geographically, Memorial Mapping encourages us to broaden our understandings of how social and political landscapes are shaped and develop by thinking "spatially."