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Adnan Zillur Morshed
Catholic University of America (Washington, DC 20064-0001)
The Architecture of Ascension: Aviation and the Avant-garde Imagination of the Future City

My book project is about the early twentieth-century avant-garde's aestheticizing of a new vision occasioned by the advent of powered human flight. I seek to demonstrate that the avant-gardist enthusiasm for aerial vision evinces a remarkable affiliation between aviation and a modernist logic of looking at the world. The aestheticization of aerial vision gave rise to a new kind of aviator hero whom the modernist planner, intent on rebuilding the world from his elevated ideological perch, could be seen to resemble in significant ways. The ascending hero's aesthetic experience of altitude appealed to the encyclopedic ambition of the modernist planner, particularly in light of modernism's prescriptions of rationality, clarity, and order of the city as a panacea for social problems.

Project fields:

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2008 – 8/31/2008