Canadian filmmaker Adnan Zuberi joins James to discuss his award-winning 2013 documentary, 9/11 in the Academic Community: Academia’s Treatment of Critical Perspectives on 9/11. Zuberi also discuss his own experiences and interactions as a university student that contributed to his creation of the film, as well as more recent projects addressing geopolitics and the “war on terror.”
9/11 in the Academic Community features interviews with several notable academics, including John McMurtry, Graeme MacQueen, Lynn Margulis, and Walter G. Pitman, to examine scholars’ critical perspectives on the events of September 11, 2001 and how these have been received in their respective academic fields. Contrary to the widely-held notion that academe is a bastion of free thought and inquiry, university faculty and administrators are often indifferent, if not hostile toward, colleagues that study or take public stances on controversial topics.
Using this context, the film also addresses dilemmas within university settings, including the commonplace use of terms that act as “thought-stoppers” in academic discourse, and the profound implications of the fact that the official 9/11 narrative is based on the testimony of tortured prisoners.
Zuberi also addresses his experience in developing strategies for appealing to academic community constituents that stand apart from standard appeals to facts and reason that have come to characterize the truth community.
9/11 in the Academic Community was awarded for “Documentary Achievement” at the University of Toronto Film Festival. Since its release, has also received the praise of prominent professors and university administrators alike.