Flying through the ’Thirties
a one-day symposium on air travel and
16 April 2016
The Aerodrome Hotel
In his seminal British Writers of the Thirties, Valentine Cunningham notes the ‘airmindedness’ of the decade; this one-day symposium aims at exploring the role held by flying in interwar Britain—actual, textual, material, cultural.
Held at Croydon Airport, a key site for aviation in interwar Britain, the conference will explore the texts and contexts that help to examine the impact of air travel on art, literature, film, space, perception and production.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
– The imagery of flight in poetry, prose, painting.
– Flights taken by individual authors, explorers, adventurers.
– ‘Airmen’, symbolic and real.
– Travel literature and its response to flight.
– The threat and reality of aerial bombardment.
– Airport architectures.
– Films featuring flying.
– The luggage and logistics of air travel.
Please send a maximum 250-word proposal by
11 January 2016 to
Dr Luke Seaber (UCL)
Dr Michael McCluskey (UCL)
Dr Amara Thornton (UCL)
Dr Debbie Challis (Croydon Airport Society)
‘As you all know, the greatest feat, the most stupendous risk in human history is being undertaken this evening by a gentleman who prefers to remain known simply as the Pilot. His ambition is no less than to reach the very heart of Reality.’
W.H. Auden, The Dance of Death (1933)