This article explores a kinship between aviation and cinema through the intersection of affective gender, dreams, and flying as expressed across newspaper accounts of women and flight, star discourse related to Mabel Normand and Mary Pickford, and the sexualized scenes of aerial joyriding in Abram Room’s Bed and Sofa (1927) and Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks’s Plane Crazy (1928). It argues that in order to fully understand the aviation-cinema nexus, we must dislodge it from its masculinist heritage within high modernist myths. Key to this dislodging is the reinsertion of gendered associations of the body, affect, and the senses into the modernist myth of aerial vision as a weightless, abstracted regime of the eye. The article theoretically frames this historical exploration of aviation and cinema as an exemplary case study for an expanded rethinking of affect, reception, and the senses in Miriam Hansen’s notion of cinema as vernacular modernism.

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