HIST 441: Aviation in American Culture

Instructor: Sean Seyer

Day & Time:
Tuesday & Thursday
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Category Fulfillment: I

In front of an old airplane stands African American woman smiling at a African American man speaking.

Aviation in American Culture 

Whether Charles Lindbergh’s famous 1927 flight, the Berlin Airlift, or the closure of airspace in response to the invasion of Ukraine, aviation has played an important role in how Americans have defined themselves and their relationship with the rest of the world over the last one hundred years. With material that ranges from Harriet Quimby’s groundbreaking flights to the attacks of September 11, 2001, in this course you will learn how Americans imposed certain cultural values upon the new technology of the airplane, how the airplane emerged as a site for contesting the established social hierarchy, and how aviation became a primary tool for the projection of U.S. power. 

Class periods are divided between lectures and discussions on preassigned readings, with a strong emphasis on student participation.