Our primary notions of home, orientation and the very principle of our spatial existence are threatened by territorial controversies. ‘Terror‘ thus becomes both the passive experience and the active instrument that characterize territorial threats and impositions. Such terrors are as old as the mythical loss of paradise, but their ancient implications have not blunted our present-day sensitivities nor limited the proliferating associations and connotations in our terror-ridden political present. Analysing and understanding the mechanisms at work in the creation and the experience of ‘territorial terrors‘ is a complex task but it may serve peaceful purposes in the discursive turmoil of our globalising planet. In the present survey, a group of young scholars from the Universities of Tübingen and Maryland, in a transatlantic effort, approached the wide field of territorial terrors from diverse perspectives. They were guided by recent theories of space and place, and they weighed and utilized recent conceptual developments in cultural theory and postcolonial discourse. In their investigations, literature (and film) can take the role of a passionate but non-violent public and educational forum through which we may possibly understand and come to terms with contested spaces and their burning questions before they kindle new forms of terror.