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Summer 2021
27th International Conference of Europeanists, 21-25 June 2021
Mini-symposium 'European Space Futures, Real and Imagined'
Planetary Poetics and Politics in Post-War Europe 
Thursday, 24 June 2021, 10:00–11:30 EDT
Chair: Alexander C.T. Geppert (New York University and NYU Shanghai)

From Dystopia on Earth to Utopia in Space, 1944–1969 
Robert Poole (University of Central Lancashire)

Speaking Space, 1954–1988 
Alexander Geppert

Outer Space and the Cosmos in Environmental Poetry, 1970–1990 
Thore Bjørnvig (University of Copenhagen)

Europe, Utopia and the late Cold War 
Tilmann Siebeneichner (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Forgetting Nâzim Hikmet on the Ship to Mars 
Nicola Thomas (University of Bristol)

Discussant: Caitríona Ní Dhúill (University College Cork)
European Astroculture and Beyond: A Roundtable 
Thursday, 24 June 2021, 12:00–13:30 EDT
Chair: Alexander C.T. Geppert (New York University and NYU Shanghai)

Martin Collins (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)
De Witt Douglas Kilgore (Indiana University)
Nina Wormbs (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)
Richard Toye (University of Exeter)
28 June - 2 July 2021
Imagining, Limiting, Militarizing: European Astroculture and Beyond
Monday, 28 June 2021, 17:00–19:00 CET
Chair: Alexander C.T. Geppert (New York University and NYU Shanghai)
Martin Collins (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)
Valerie Olson  (UC Irvine)
Amanda Rees (University of York)
Tilmann Siebeneichner (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Guillaume de Syon (Albright College)
Brad Tabas (ENSTA Bretagne)


Spring 2021
Dark Skies: Geography, Geopolitics and Geohistory of Outer Space
Daniel Deudney, Johns Hopkins University 
Wednesday, 10 February, 14:00–15:30 EST
Location: Online
From the earliest times humans have attributed great importance to celestial phenomena. Over the last long century, space visionaries have imagined numerous projects to expand human activities into outer space, a few of which have been realized. A level-headed and balanced assessment of these activities and plans concludes that actual space activities have increased the likelihood of nuclear war and that making humanity a multiplanetary species poses multiple catastrophic and existential threats to humanity.  
'The Widest Practical and Appropriate Dissemination of Information:' Origins and Operations of NASA’s History Program
William P. Barry (former NASA Chief Historian)
Tuesday, 13 September 2022, 10:00–11:30 EDT
Location: Online
Section 203 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 required the new agency to disseminate 'information concerning its activities and the results thereof.' While the authors and approvers of the Act probably never considered it, this mandate led to the hiring of Dr. Eugene M. Emme as NASA’s first Chief Historian in 1959 and the creation of the History Program. For over 60 years, and under the guidance of six chief historians, NASA’s History Program has struggled to meet that mandate in an environment not often hospitable to historical inquiry.  This talk will be an insider’s account of that story.
How (Not) to Become a Superpower in Space: Spacelab, Europe and the Politics of Post-Apollo, 1972–1987
Tilmann Siebeneichner (Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam)
Tuesday, 18 October 2022, 10:00–11:30 EDT 
Location: Online
Participation in the Post-Apollo program from 1972 onwards offered the European Space Agency a much-desired entry into human spaceflight. Although its contribution, a reusable laboratory called Spacelab, was highly debated within ESA, the Federal Republic of Germany in particular promoted it as a future 'key technology.' Often praised for its utopian efforts, the history of Spacelab in fact marked a significant turn towards a more realistic space policy in Europe, calling into question former efforts for a strictly peaceful and predominantly inclusive exploration of space. Highlighting national rivalries, global confrontations and technological catastrophe, this talk investigates cultural traditions, political rationales and popular receptions that informed Europe’s controversial entry into human spaceflight.   

/ FALL 2022

Aliens in Mexico! Extraterrestrials, Astroculture and Space Imaginaries
Gloria Maritza Gómez Revuelta (El Colegio de México)
Tuesday, 1 November 2022, 10:00–11:30 EDT
Location: Online
In Mexican science fiction produced from the 1930s to the 1970s, iconic characters of daily life came face to face with the imagined inhabitants of outer space, other worldly individuals that ranged from sensual Venusians to wrestling aliens. In pursuit of understanding how outer space and its inhabitants were imagined in Mexico, this talk examines the artistic representations of extraterrestrials in graphic and audiovisual astrocultural products. It analyzes the varied characterizations of the fictional inhabitants of other worlds that were crafted and presented to Mexican audiences by comic book artists, film directors, screenwriters and actors, not only through narratives of adventure and fantasy but also of drama, romance and humor.
Making the Ariane Rocket: European Integration and Europe's Future in Outer Space
Nina Klimburg-Witjes (Universität Wien)
Tuesday, 6 December 2022, 9:00–10:30 EST
Location: Online
Since its first launch in 1979, the European Ariane rocket program has been heralded as a symbol of European integration. However, the rise of commercial companies like SpaceX and the increasing militarization of space have spurred profound debates about the future of the European launcher program – and the future of Europe in space more broadly. Mobilizing work in science and technology studies (STS) and the social studies of outer space (SSOS), this talk explores which kind of space futures are projected onto and realized through Ariane, how they relate to ideals and tensions of European integration, and to changing geopolitical dynamics in the New Space Age.
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