Patrick Luiz Sullivan De Oliveira
Fields of Study: Modern France, Urban History, History of Technology, South Atlantic.
Advisor: Philip Nord
For an up-to-date CV and more information about my work, please visit www.patrickdeoliveira.com.
My main area of focus is nineteenth-century France and Western Europe, although I also explore comparative/connective approaches that incorporate Latin America.
My dissertation, "Dans l'Air: The Emergence of Modern Airmindedness in France" addresses how and why Paris became the capital of early aviation before World War One. In order to explain this process, I argue against the modernist paradigm that has defined the historiography of flight and search instead for continuities in aerial culture that extend as far back as 1860, way before the first functional airplanes took to the air. I argue that for the French the quest for flight was intricately connected to their idea of France being a beacon of civilization and the enlightened nation par excellence, and that the dialectic between nationalist and cosmopolitan elements that defined such an attitude surfaced and informed French airmindedness as it started to take form in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War.
During 2015-2016 I will be a Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Fellow at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. I spent the 2014-2015 academic year as a Doctoral Exchange Fellow at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), conducting extensive archival research in Paris and nearby cities.
My other major thematic interest is urban history, particularly the relationship between built environment and urban renovations, and how this dynamic in turn affects the phenomenological experience of the city and engenders changes in urban identity. My undergraduate honors thesis: "Ghosts of Modernity: Changes in Urban Identity in Nineteenth-Century Lyon," addresses these issues in the context of Lyon's renovations during the Second Empire and early Third Republic. I am also drawn to visual culture (in particular caricatures) and the relationship between form and content as fluid cultural transfers take place.
During my time at Princeton I have served as Head Preceptor to David Bell's "War in the Modern Western World" course, was an organizer of The Department in History Workshop, and have been both a co-chair of the Modern Europe Workshop and a representative at the Graduate Student Government.
I graduated with distinction and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Kansas in 2010 with a B.A. in History, a B.S.J. in Journalism, and minors in French and Peace & Conflict Studies. At Kansas I was involved with The University Daily Kansan, working in the positions of opinion writer (for which I earned a national Hearst Award), editor and features writer. Before committing to pursuing the academic life I interned at NPR's Weekend Edition and at Verso Books.