Office of Undergraduate Research

Last of the Lawsonomists - Archival Research for a Historical Documentary

I am working on an independent documentary about the last follower of Lawsonomy, a religion formed by forgotten aviation pioneer Alfred Lawson. After Lawsons death in 1954, a small band of followers tried to carry on his legacy and theories about finance, physics, and Natural Law. Today, the movement has been reduced to a single 90-year-old man, Merle Hayden, who makes a yearly trip to the world's biggest air show to promote Lawson's works and find new blood for the Lawsonomy movement. Last of the Lawsonomists uses Hayden's story to investigate the life of Lawson and understand why someone like Hayden would devote his entire life to espousing Lawsons teachings.

Tasks and responsibilities:

Dependent on the student's skills and interests, s/he may be asked scan archival photographs, slides, audio recordings, text and other materials, organize, catalog, and summarize archival materials, assist with logging and transcribing film footage (using Final Cut Pro), track down historical records, especially those located in the George Hardie collection in the Golda Meir library, and fact check information. Students applying for this research project will have the opportunity to sit in on story sessions with the documentary's producer and editor. Applicants should be meticulous, inquisitive, and enthusiastic about curiously forgotten parts of history (or forgotten parts of curious history).