Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Railroad Literature as Seen by an Engineer: The Junction of Two Trains of Thought

Presenter Information

Silvia SmithFollow

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2017

College

College of Engineering

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department

Faculty Mentor

Brian McCuskey

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

In addition to being a landmark of engineering, the train has become a powerful symbol in literature and art. The social and creative influence of a machine illuminates just how deeply science and engineering are connected to our culture, our perspectives, and our humanity. With a background in mechanical engineering, this interdisciplinary research was conducted by examining and discussing works of literature, art, and film that describe how people have felt about and interacted with the railroad. It includes works created from the industrial era to modern times: excerpts from industrial-era novels, Victorian diaries, early films, and recent sci-fi movies. The breadth of the research reveals the dynamic meanings of trains, and their influences on society. By combining the fields of mechanical engineering with literature and art, this research gains a unique insight to the crossroads of the technical sciences and the humanities, and seeks to show the importance and benefits of having an interdisciplinary view of the world. In taking these different perspectives, the effects of industry and innovation can be more clearly understood. Additionally, this research aims to show the compatibility of two schools of thought that do not cross often enough. By discovering these connections, this research will hopefully inspire more interdisciplinary research and discussions across many fields.

Location

Room 101

Start Date

4-13-2017 3:00 PM

End Date

4-13-2017 4:15 PM

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Apr 13th, 3:00 PM Apr 13th, 4:15 PM

Railroad Literature as Seen by an Engineer: The Junction of Two Trains of Thought

Room 101

In addition to being a landmark of engineering, the train has become a powerful symbol in literature and art. The social and creative influence of a machine illuminates just how deeply science and engineering are connected to our culture, our perspectives, and our humanity. With a background in mechanical engineering, this interdisciplinary research was conducted by examining and discussing works of literature, art, and film that describe how people have felt about and interacted with the railroad. It includes works created from the industrial era to modern times: excerpts from industrial-era novels, Victorian diaries, early films, and recent sci-fi movies. The breadth of the research reveals the dynamic meanings of trains, and their influences on society. By combining the fields of mechanical engineering with literature and art, this research gains a unique insight to the crossroads of the technical sciences and the humanities, and seeks to show the importance and benefits of having an interdisciplinary view of the world. In taking these different perspectives, the effects of industry and innovation can be more clearly understood. Additionally, this research aims to show the compatibility of two schools of thought that do not cross often enough. By discovering these connections, this research will hopefully inspire more interdisciplinary research and discussions across many fields.