Call for Contributors - Aviation Film Text

full name / name of organization: 
Ron Thomas / Embry-Riddle Aeronuatical University
contact email: 


Audience: Intended as a course text/reader for a new upper division undergraduate course at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, "Film Studies and Aviation," this would also be a book of scholarly interest in the areas of history, film, mass communications, and popular culture.

Format: The text would include an introductory chapter on film studies and film criticism, followed by a series of chapters written by invited scholars on exemplary films with aviation themes. Each chapter would place the film in its historic context in aviation history and describe the featured aircraft in addition to a close reading of the film and its themes. (It may be that the aircraft profiles are written by the editors as sidebars to each chapter or by additional invited aviation and aerospace writers, depending upon the interest or background of the contributing scholar.) A central thesis is that the aviation "story" has established itself as a genre in which the aircraft is central that to the story, that without it as a literal and figurative vehicle, the story would not be possible.

Preliminary Outline

Preface: By the editors

Foreword: The editors will solicit from a notable personality in the aviation or entertainment industry.

Chapter 1: Understanding Film and Genre

Chapter 2-18, The Films: (listed alphabetically, may be arranged by era of aviation history or date of release; contributing scholars may suggest additional films but we feel this is the core from which our course readings would be drawn.)

Air Force One
The Aviator
The Blue Max
The Bridges at Toko-Ri
Catch 22
The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell
The Flight of the Phoenix
The Hindenburg
The Right Stuff
The Spirit of St. Louis
Strategic Air Command
Top Gun
Twelve O'clock High
United 93

Chapter 19: The aviation story templates

Appendices: Aviation Filmography

Editors: Ronald Thomas, Ed.D., Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Thomas Cavanagh, Ph.D., University of Central Florida

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