Karen Beckman


On her book Crash: Cinema and the Politics of Speed and Stasis

Cover Interview of February 27, 2011


I think the book resonates strongly with contemporary anxieties about “homeland security” as well as environmental and financial disasters.

In fact, before I began working on Crash, I had planned to write a book on how and when the feminist movement appropriated a language of violence and terrorism.  That was before 9/11.  I did write a couple of essays after the attack on the twin towers within the frame I had earlier imagined (see here and here).  But “terrorism” was no longer the best frame to address the kinds of questions I wanted to think about.

“Terrorism” had become too specifically tied to the contemporary landscape, and this overshadowed the history of the feminism movement’s relationship to violent discourses and forms of action.  Crash emerged as the new project, though I can still see traces of the earlier project in the book’s preoccupation with risk, ambivalence, and the question of “movement,” its dangers and its possibilities.

© 2011 Karen Beckman