Humanities Dialogues at Poly: Explore Writing About Aviation History and Travel Trailer Futurism

airplane flying in sky and travel trailer in woods

ASU's College of Integrative Sciences and Arts Faculty of Interdisciplinary Humanities and Communication continues its Humanities Dialogues @ Poly series this fall online.

Each dialogue features two scholars who share recent research or work-in-progress and invite discussion. Join in the first dialogue on Sept. 24, 2020 with:

Valerie Adams: Principal Lecturer in History
“Taking to the Skies: How to Present Aviation History to the General Public”
As I work on a book about the significance of aviation on our lives over the last 100 years, using the aircraft of Igor Sikorsky to tell the tale, I struggle with audience and thus my content choices. I'll outline my project and the thinking behind my examples, then invite conversation about how best to interest a lay audience in reading a book about aircraft. 

David Burel: Clinical Assistant Professor of History
“We’ll Soon Be Living on Wheels: Trailer Futurism during the Great Depression”
“The covered wagon era is living again,” proclaimed economist Roger W. Babson in 1935. Babson’s prophecy fit with the mood of the 1930s and broader trends in American culture. The travel trailer became an object of hope for a new technological future, expanded vacation opportunities and the promise of new mobile lifestyles. Some boosters thought the majority of Americans would one day be living in mobile trailer housing in flexible mobile cities. These ideas contributed to the success of the travel trailer industry and a conceptual vocabulary for how trailers would be marketed and used by future generations. The enthusiasm associated with travel trailers created lasting links between the trailer’s mobility and the socially constructed belief that this mobility increased freedom, democracy and individuality. 

Ian Moulton
Faculty of Interdisciplinary Humanities and Communication
Online Zoom Workshop