Dr. Janet R. Bednarek
Office: HM 464
Office Hours: M, W, 1-2:45 and by appt.
Corn, The Winged Gospel
Courtwright, Sky as Frontier
Clodfelter, The Limits of Airpower
Hansen, The Bird is on the Wing
Additional Readings available through Isidore.
The purpose of this class is to explore the social, political, military, and industrial history of American aviation. We will focus primarily on atmospheric flight, though we will touch on space and the transformation of the aviation industry into the aerospace industry at the end of the class.
Americans generally have reacted very enthusiastically to new technologies. They have also given technology a certain “agency” – technology as a cause or shaper of events. Technology has also been seen as being capable of transforming human beings. For example, how many times have you heard that this or that technology is fundamentally changing humans – they way we think or learn. In this course we will read from historians who question the role of technology human history and explore how humans have shaped technologies, rather than the other way around. We will explore the idea that we can master our technologies or our technologies can master us.
Aviation technology in particular seemed to inspire a great deal of enthusiasm. Those who mastered that technology have become some of the nation’s most enduring heroes, especially the Wright Brothers and Charles Lindbergh.
The airplane has
also been credited with transforming how we fight wars.
We’ll look at the development of military doctrines concerning aviation
and explore the role of aviation in several US-fought wars (WWI, WWII,
aviation/aerospace sector has played a major role in the
This class is part of the Values, Technology and Society Cluster.
There will be two exams, a mid-term and a final exam. The mid-term will cover material presented in the first half of the class. The final exam will be a combination of in-class and take-home elements and primarily will cover material presented in the second half of the class. Study guides will be provided in advance of the exams.
As a general rule, no make-up tests will be allowed; see the department of history guidelines for more information and possible exceptions. Efforts will be made to accommodate athlete/band/cheerleader/other university sanctioned student events, previously scheduled. A note is required from the appropriate sponsoring program or department. Again, please refer to the History Department Guidelines for further information.
You will be required to write six two- to three-page papers based on course readings. The format and requirements for these papers are described on a separate handout. Each paper will be worth 30 points for a total of 180 points. Late papers will not be accepted (see handout).
Total Page Requirements: 12-18 pages.
I will give you the opportunity to re-write the first paper based on comments and feedback. The re-write will be due Wednesday, Feb 4. If you decide to do the re-write, your final grade for the first assignment will be based on your revised paper. After than point, if you want to have an opportunity to re-write your papers based on comments and feedback, you must submit your paper to me AT LEAST 48 hours in advance. I will then provide comments and feedback in time for you to revise your paper. In those cases only the revised paper will be graded.
Attendance in the course is required. You will be allowed three unexcused absences. For every unexcused absence beyond those three, five points will be deducted from your final point total for the class. Frequent absences will adversely affect your final grade.
An attendance sheet will be passed out during each class. It is your responsibility to make sure that you sign in each day.
GRADE SCALE (based on percentage of total points possible):
A 91-100% C+ 77-78%
A- 89-90% C- 69-70%
B+ 87-88% D 60-68%
B- 79-80% F 00-59%
Absolutely no extra credit work will be allowed. Any academic dishonesty will result in a failure for the course. If in doubt about what constitutes academic dishonesty, consult the student handbook. http://www.udayton.edu/~studev/studenthandbook
I understand that as a student of the
Complete all assignments and examinations by the guidelines given to me by my instructors;
Avoid plagiarism and any other form of misrepresenting someone else's work as my own;
Adhere to the Standards of Conduct as outlined in the Academic Honor Code.
In doing this, I hold myself and my community to a higher standard of excellence, and set an example for my peers to follow.
NOTE: Due to extenuating circumstances the following class schedule may be subject to change.
LECTURE, READING, ASSIGNMENT, EXAM SCHEDULE
MON 12 Jan Introduction
WED 14 Jan Pre-Flight: Chanute and Langley
Hansen, pp. 15-40
MON 19 Jan Martin Luther King, Jr., Day – no classes
WED 21 Jan Why the Wright Brothers
Jakab, “Why Orville and Wilbur?” pp, 1-17
MON 26 Jan America Greets the Airplane
Courtwright, pp. 5-37; Corn, pp. 3-50
WED 28 Jan The First World War: Origins of Strategic Bombing Theory
Douhet, Command of the Air, pp.34-68
PAPER ONE DUE
MON 2 Feb Industry, Barnstormers, and Aviation Enthusiasm
Courtwright, pp. 38-55; Corn, 51-70
WED 4 Feb Airmail and the Birth of the Airlines
Courtwright, pp. 56-69
PAPER ONE RE-WRITE DUE
MON 9 Feb Reinventing the Airplane
Hansen, pp. 41-81
PAPER TWO DUE
WED 11 Feb Lindbergh
Courtwright, pp. 70-88
MON 16 Feb African Americans, Women and the Next Generation in Aviation
Corn, pp. 71-90; 113-133.
WED 18 Feb US Government and the Promotion/Regulation of Aviation
Courtwright, pp. 91-109; Corn, pp. 91-111
MON 23 Feb Army Aviation, 1920s-1930s
Mitchell, Winged Defense (1925) 97-119; DeSeversky, 254-291.
PAPER THREE DUE
WED 25 Feb Navy Aviation, 1920s-1930s; Study Guide for First Exam distributed
MON 2 Mar Airpower and World War II; Courtwright, pp. 110-131
WED 4 Mar MIDTERM EXAM
MON 9 Mar New Technology: Jets and Rockets
WED 11 Mar Breaking the Sound Barrier
Hansen, pp. 82-109, 110-142
MON 16 Mar Military Aviation: Korea and the early Cold War
WED 18 Mar Military Aviation: Vietnam
Clodfelter, 39-115, 147- 210
PAPER FOUR DUE
MON 23 Mar Military Aviation Since Vietnam
WED 25 Mar Commercial Aviation: Technology
MON 30 Mar Commercial Aviation: Making Flight a Mass Experience
Courtwright, pp. 132-171
PAPER FIVE DUE
WED 1 Apr Commercial Aviation: From Regulation to Deregulation
MON 6 Apr Commercial Aviation Industry Since WWII – From Jet Age to Bus with Wings
WED 8 Apr The Cold War, the Space Race and the Creation of the Aerospace Industry
Mullin, “Robert E. Gross and the Rise of Lockheed,” pp. 57-78; Bromberg, “Legacies,” pp. 16-44
PAPER SIX DUE
MON 13 Apr The Aviation/Aerospace Industry Since WWII
WED 15 Apr Stander Symposium – no classes
MON 20 Apr The SST: The Curious Case of the “Inevitable Airplane”
Hansen, pp. 143-174
WED 22 Apr Aviation and Aerospace in Popular Culture
Final Exam Monday, 27 April, 4:30-6:20 p.m.