So here it is, my WAC-6 abstract:
The archaeology of space exploration has been defined as a separate field, based on a chronological period – 1936 until the present - and a set of places, sites and artefacts associated with the contemporary era of military and globalising technologies. In this paper I want to explore the theoretical terrain of space archaeology. It could be regarded as historical archaeology, dealing with capitalist-driven colonial expansion and cross-cultural encounters; the archaeology of the contemporary past, where memory meets technology; industrial archaeology; or as an area of cultural heritage management. Other possible frameworks include cosmopolitanism and the consideration of large-scale evolutionary trajectories of the human species. Each of these approaches suggests research questions and future directions for analysing the material culture of the space age, which will assume greater importance as more nations coopt the heritage of space to support their claims to celestial resources.
Thanks to Steve for his excellent suggestion for the title! I'm still going to write a prolegomenon though, as a proper article rather than a conference paper.
A classical education occasionally has its benefits. Last week at the airport a chance encounter led to a discussion about the Mytilene debate and its implications for modern democracy.