August Slugs and Steins: What Can We Learn from the Airport?

For many people, airports may seem like alienating “nonplaces”—as anthropologist Marc Augé put it—where we rush to make connections and spend long, monotonous hours waiting for delayed flights. But airports are fascinating sites that can tell us a lot about the places where they are situated. Among other things, they are complex infrastructures where people, the built and natural environments, and different kinds of networks come together. Airports are also sites of accumulated power in a given region. Looking at the history of an airport, then, can provide a useful lens for examining some of the complex, interconnected forces that have influenced the development of its region over time. Exploring that history can also help us understand how differently positioned people in that place have abided, resisted, and otherwise negotiated the powerful forces that have shaped their lives. In this talk, Eric Porter will discuss San Francisco International Airport (SFO) as a site whose history reveals important perspectives on a wide range of phenomena that have helped to make the Bay Area. Along the way he will read excerpts from his recent book, A People’s History of SFO: The Making of the Bay Area and an Airport.

Monday, August 14, 2023 at 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Virtual Event

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

Invited Audience

Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Students, Prospective Students, General Public, Graduate Students

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