Digital memorialisation of national traumatic events: an analysis of the online memorialisation of 9/11

  • Sarah J. Griffiths

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Recent decades have seen an increase in both forms and the use of digital memorialisation, a trend which has been highlighted in the last 18 months by the Covid-19 pandemic. Academic research on this subject is a growing field that has initially focused on digital memorials to individuals, with the online commemoration of specifically national-level events an area that merits further examination. In this thesis, I use 9/11 as a case study to explore the digital memorialisation of national traumatic events, examining what these online spaces can offer as a result of their distinct properties. Using critical discourse analysis, I analyse the content of both official and unofficial digital memorial sites
to 9/11, examining how and what each site prioritises in its memorial discourse, and questioning the extent to which these online commemorative spaces offer the potential to articulate alternative memorial narratives. This thesis explores the wider debate on how the use of a digital medium creates a different memorial to what we would expect from a physical monument, rather than disregarding digital sites as merely a support to the physical.
Date of Award28 Jun 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorAndrea Purdekova (Supervisor) & John Troyer (Supervisor)


  • Digital memorialisation
  • memory studies
  • commemoration
  • online memorial
  • 9/11
  • national identity

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