A growing number of researchers in the social sciences and the environmental humanities have recalibrated their focus of analysis to the wider universe and how it is apprehended by both modern cosmology and scientific practices. This paper presents work in progress that responds to recent calls for "a space-inclusive anthropology" that embraces the cosmopolitics of outer space as environment, to study an ecology of practices of co-production of space, among government agency officials, space entrepreneurs, and astrobiologists and planetary scientists. The paper focuses on a discussion of the possibilities and limits of critical ethnographic research for studying "space-on-Earth" through three vignettes of emergent social imaginaries of outer space. First, an account of the launch in 2018 and development over the next few years of the new Australian Space Agency and its plans to envisage Australia as a space-faring nation. Second, contested imaginaries of multiplanetary futures mobilised by new modes of venture capitalism in space. And third, the cosmological imaginaries of astrobiological research on terrestrial analogues, sites on Earth used as proxides for space exploration, and the search for life-forms elsewhere in the universe.
Ostrom Workshop Research Series featuring Juan Francisco Salazar (Ostrom Visiting Scholar) paper "The Cosmopolitics of Outer Space"
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Location: Ostrom Workshop, 513 N. Park