Asif Siddiqi on Rockets, Prisons, Pop Songs, and So Much More


Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel, talks with Asif Siddiqi, Professor of History at Fordham University, about the arc of his career and his wide-ranging interests and work. The pair start by discussing Siddiqi's wonderful book, The Red Rockets' Glare: Spaceflight and the Russian Imagination, 1857-1957 (Cambridge University Press, 2014), a history of the social and cultural trends, including a heavy dose of science fiction and mysticism, in Russia and the Soviet Union that led to Sputnik. They then talk about Siddiqi's other projects and interests from prisons to pop songs to global histories of space infrastructures. They also discuss the promises of recent turns to global and international research projects and stories in the history of technology.

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Lee Vinsel

Lee Vinsel is an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at Virginia Tech. He studies human life with technology, with particular focus on the relationship between government, business, and technological change. His first book, Moving Violations: Automobiles, Experts, and Regulations in the United States, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in July 2019.

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