Friday, February 22, 2008

Prelude to space archaeology - WAC-6

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.


6 comments:

  1. I think of the archaeology of space exploration (aerospace archaeology) as conceptually similar to maritime archaeology ... consider maritime from the theoretical standpoints listed in your abstract ...

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  2. You're right, of course, Steve, but (at the risk of offending any maritime archaeology readers) I would argue that maritime archaeology doesn't have much of a theoretical standpoint to begin with. Although there are some researchers attempting to remedy this, full credit to them.

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  3. Great abstract, I'll be looking forward to your session. I posted my WAC abstracts as well--it should be fun in Dublin!

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  4. Hi Colleen, I think I like your second abstract best, although I love a manifesto probably more than I love a prolegomenon. (In fact my esteemed cake-baking colleague Dr Lynley Wallis persuaded me that manifesto was too grand a word to use for a conference paper. You have proved her wrong).

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  5. Hey Alice, since aerospace archaeology is such a modern technology based field, maybe it should lead the craft in employing new technologies. Therefore I venture that we somehow get the conference papers for this subject filmed and maybe posted on the internet in an effort to 1) expand the understanding of aerospace archaeology in the public's eye and 2) so i can watch them....

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  6. Hello Luke! I owe you a couple of emails .... this is a rather interesting idea, I shall investigate it! I'm imagining an edited down version of the session interspersed with footage of space stuff. Probably only diehard space archaeology fans would want to watch two hours of people talking in front of powerpoints ...

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