A17
Making Outer Space

Convenors:
Valentina Marcheselli (University of Edinburgh)
Deborah Scott (University of Edinburgh)
Stream:
Encounters between people, things and environments
Location:
Bowland North Seminar Room 23
Start time:
26 July, 2018 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel aims to engage with the complex social dynamics through which Earth and Space are defined, enacted, and deployed in discourse and practice.

Long abstract:

Outer space is increasingly a place of priority for public institutions and private enterprises all around the world. "Space" cannot be pinned down to one locality, nor it is simply Earth's antipode. Rather, the definition of outer space and its proper uses rests firmly on Earthly interests and politics. Instead of treating Earth and Space as discrete entities and separate sites of human understanding, exploration and consumption, this panel aims to explore their entanglements and engage with the complex social dynamics through which Earth and Space are defined, enacted, and deployed in discourse and practice. Drawing on previous work in STS, anthropology, history, geography and cultural studies, this panel offers an opportunity for scholars to explore questions such as: • How is outer space identified, studied and understood? How are distinctions between Outer Space and Earth made and held? • How is space research managed, and what assumptions are embedded in these epistemic regimes? • What is changing - or what alliances are sustained - in the culture, funding and narratives around aerospace industries? • How are promises of repairing and caring for our wounded planet mirrored in discourses of outer space? • How are outer space industries, law and policy, research, and imaginaries shifting to include nations that were formerly not space-faring? • What possibilities are envisioned in future-related imaginaries about science? And what does it mean to be human and other-than-human in 'other-than-Earthly' futures? How are such relationships imagined, configured and engineered in space research?