The SACRPH Series: Janet Bednarek on the Invisible Politics of Airports

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Our SACRPH series rolls on with the latest of our author interviews, this time with Professor Janet Bednarek of the University of Dayton.  Like the best historians, Bednarek gets us to think about something we rarely think about, but should–in this case, airports.  People want to fly, business demands it, yet no one really wants to live next to an airport–and yet airports still have to be somewhere.  Like a lot of infrastructure, the history of this topic tends to be ignored or invisible.  Bednarek takes us to these nowheres that are nevertheless somewhere in this talk about her book Airports, Cities, and the Jet Age: US Airports since 1945, out recently from Palgrave MacMillan.  She is the author of many other books, of course, a distinguished scholar and former head of the Urban History Association.

airports cities and the jet age - bednarek

Again, we apologize for the sometimes difficult sound quality–we were recording in a busy publishers hall with lots of authors, editors, and conference attendees chatting in the background.  It gives it a certain cinéma vérité qualité–it’s almost like you were at SACRPH!  We did our best to edit and mix down to make the listening as smooth as possible.  Thanks as always for heroic production feats from co-host Nic Hoffmann, support from Julian Chambliss and Walter Greason at SACRPH, and music from our boy Tender Pony.

Our first interview, with UVA’s Barbara Brown Wilson, can be found here, and ultimately the entire series can be found by clicking on our SACRPH tag.

Author: Alex Sayf Cummings

Alex Sayf Cummings is an associate professor of history at Georgia State University. His work deals with media, law, and the political culture of the modern United States. He has previously received a Consortium for Faculty Diversity fellowship, an ACLS-Mellon postdoctoral fellowship, and the American Baptist Historical Society’s Torbet Prize. His work has appeared in Salon, the Brooklyn Rail, the Journal of American History, Technology and Culture, and the edited volume Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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