Vehicular Vernacular: The Mid-Century Airstream as a Case Study in Preservation, Nostalgia and Subculture Formation

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Title: Vehicular Vernacular: The Mid-Century Airstream as a Case Study in Preservation, Nostalgia and Subculture Formation
Author: Bezirdjian, Melina Carla
Abstract: Airstream brand travel trailers from the 1950s and 60s have developed a subculture dedicated to their preservation and use. This subculture serves as a case study for how nostalgia, defined in a postmodern context, may promote preservation and creative communion with the past. After examining criticisms of preservation’s focus on material integrity, the discussion focuses on the need to factor user-based relationships into historic preservation. A postmodern reexamination of nostalgia defines it not merely as a longing for the past but also as a form of social critique which seeks to mitigate modernity with the past. Mid-century Airstream preservation reflects a desire to revive specific, positive values of the past in order to ameliorate the future and form temporal continuity. For the mid-century Airstream subculture, nostalgia fosters both restoration and recreation, allowing for an iconic emblem of the past to function in the present rather than fade into obsolescence.
Description: xiii, 119 p. : ill. (some col.)
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/11269
Date: 2011-03


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