Never far from one’s mind these days, the events of September 11, 2001, and their direct aftermath in Afghanistan and elsewhere, had to be prominent in this month’s issue of ABR, such is their complex resonance and ubiquitous iconography. To complement Morag Fraser’s essay in this issue on the consequences of ‘September 11’ for civic rights and democratic processes – in Australia as well as the USA – we invited a range of writers, scholars and public figures to reflect on how that ironically sunny, egregious morning affected Australian attitudes towards the last ‘superpower’, the unfolding foreign policies of both nations, and the supposedly new world order. Some, still undecided as to what it all meant, declined. We are grateful to those who agreed to essay brief overviews of this changed international reality. Our list of contributors is deliberately multifarious. It is also as subjective as any symposium should be. We hope it suggests new perspectives, and stimulates letters, comment and debate.