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The Ascending Republic: Aeronautical Culture in France 1860-1908
August 23, 2018, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Patrick De Oliveira earned a PhD in history at Princeton University. His research traces how the French navigated the interstices of politics, culture, and technology to rehabilitate the balloon (an artifact that became discredited soon after its invention in 1783). In doing so, French civil society cultivated a thriving form of airmindedness decades before the advent of the airplane—one that encompassed such distinct cultural strands as sacrificial patriotism, aristocratic modernity, and technological cosmopolitanism. Patrick’s dissertation shows how at the turn of the century aeronautics was, to a degree scholars have not previously suspected, a central element to France’s self-understanding as a modern nation. Ballooning became a patriotic endeavor that people from all political stripes could get behind, and helped shape the image of France as a nation in which advanced technology, quality, and style came together in a single package.
Patrick was a Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in 2015-2016, and spent the 2014-2015 academic year in Paris as a Doctoral Exchange Fellow at Sciences Po. While in Kansas City, has conducted research in the Linda Hall Library’s rich collection of rare aeronautical volumes, which includes more than one hundred pamphlets, ballooning narratives, and aeronautical periodicals spanning the long nineteenth century.
The event is free and open to the public; however, e-tickets are required.
Parking is free in Library parking lots and along the west side of Holmes Street between 51st and 52nd streets. The main entrance to the Library grounds is on Cherry Street. The Linda Hall Library is not affiliated with UMKC. Parking in all UMKC lots is by permit or meter.