Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.


has pdf download has 1 download 1
Outer space: imaginaries, infrastructures and interventions 
Nina Klimburg-Witjes (University of Vienna)
Joseph Popper (University of Vienna)
Matjaz Vidmar (University of Edinburgh)
Send message to Convenors
Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

Whose politics are being played out in realigning our engagement with outer space? Which futures are being performed in the present? Focusing on imaginaries and their entanglement with social and material infrastructures, the panel explores modes of engagement with outer space in the new space age.

Long Abstract:

How can we conceptualize outer space imaginaries and infrastructures from an STS perspective? And in what ways might the study of outer space futures prompt a re-evaluation of fundamental concepts of human existence & societal organization, both in space and on Earth? Our aim is to interrogate outer space technoscience as a contested site and place that opens up and refracts multiple conversations at the heart of STS. We will explore human activities in / engagements with outer space across multiple dimensions, from cultural and social meanings to economics, politics, and controversies. This panel focuses on the productions, narrations, and rehearsals of diverse visions of humankind as a spacefaring civilization and questions what these visions mean for human futures on and off Earth. We encourage research perspectives that advance a symmetrical treatment of the material and imaginative aspects involved in (future) space projects and infrastructures. Attending to the multidimensional relationships between imaginaries and infrastructures, the panel explores the ways the future can be claimed in the present by envisioning, building, or re-purposing infrastructures and the communities oriented around them. We aim to highlight the infra-structuring role of the imaginary as a powerful social force, shaping and consolidating the ambitions of space actors for occupying the cosmos as well as multiple forms of resistance.

Thinking through interdisciplinary ideas of intervention, we particularly seek contributions that play with perspectives in conceptualizing outer space imaginaries and infrastructures by focusing on (but not limited to) questions of outer space settlements, commercialization, environmentalism, militarisation, (multi-)nationalism, exploitation, and environmental protection, postcolonial trajectories of space science and infrastructures including satellites and spaceports, planetarity, feminist, Afrofuturist, indigenous and other alternative approaches towards the current space race and methodological inventions for empirically studying outer space engagements. Format: short talks, panel discussions, short film; video essay; poetry, podcasts

Accepted contributions: