Current Institutional Affiliation
Professor, History, Fordham University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2002
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Carnegie Mellon University
The Rockets' Red Glare: Spaceflight and the Russian Imagination, 1857-1957

My goal is to write a Ph.D. dissertation on the changing relationship 1 between technology and Soviet society using the area of rocketry as an entry point. Specifically, I intend to study how engineers and scientists handled the tensions between indigenous and appropriated technology on one hand, and the tradeoffs between incremental and radical innovation on the other. Through the lens of Soviet rocketry, I plan to study these two dichotomies within the broader context of Soviet history. As such, I hope to explore the relationship between technology (indigenous, appropriated, radical, incremental) and three elements of the Soviet stat public discourse on the role of rocket technology in modernization, the creation and evolution of institutions to develop rockets, and state policy towards rocke technology. I plan to trace these relationships over a forty-year span from the emergence of popular discourse on rocketry in the 1920s to the galvanization of industry that led to Sputnik in 1957.