Check out a recent piece by me on the geopolitics of space exploration now up over at Medium
The full preliminary program for the 2018 Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting has been released here.
The AAG is the largest gathering of geographers in the world, and for the fourth straight year, myself and Dr. Julie Klinger are hosting a session on the Critical Geographies of Outer Space.
Our session will take place at 5:20 PM THURSDAY April 12th in Napoleon A3 at the Sheraton (3rd Floor).
Here are the paper presentations we will have in the session.
Danny Bednar, PhD Candidate & Lecturer, Western University, Department of Geography
Megan O’Kane, PhD Student, Queen’s University Belfast, School of Natural and Built Environment
Dr. Rory Rowan, University of Zurich, Department of Geography
Dr. Julie Klinger, Boston University, Frederick S. Pardee School Of Global Studies
See you in New Orleans!
In order to promote this Saturday’s International Observe the Moon event here at Western University, myself along with colleagues Zach Morse and Patrick Hill recorded a special edition of Gradcast all about the Moon.
Gradcast is the podcast and radio show of the Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) here at Western.
The episode can be downloaded here.
For those interested in the public event, this Saturday the 28th, details can be found here.
Thanks again to everyone involved for putting this together and I hope you enjoy the show.
Here’s how it breaks down:
00:00 – 6:34 Introductions and International Observe the Moon Night at Western info.
6:35 – 15:20 Lunar/Planetary Science Facts and Discussion
15:21 – 28:09 We answer common questions about the Moon
As part of the local Campus radio (CHRW 94.9) I recently took part in the Gradcast Radio podcast to discuss, among other things, my PhD work on climate change adaptation in Canada.
The podcast can be downloaded here
Here’s how the conversation breaks down:
00:00 – 14:47 – What is Climate Change Adaptation and how are governments in Canada taking action?
14:48 – 22:16 – What is Geography (at the university level) and how do we “make places”?
22:17 – 27:20 – What is the Outer Space Treaty and how are we making places…in space?
Thanks again to Roger, Navaneeth and the Gradcast production team for having me, it was a blast.
I will be giving a public talk as part of the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration at Western University weekly forum on the topic of the 50th anniversary of the Outer Space Treaty.
Talk Summary: October 10th, 2017, marked 50 years since the Outer Space Treaty entered into force. In it’s five decades, the treaty has been signed by 105 nations, including every space-faring government in the world and is often referred to as the single most important document related to outer space politics. While the treaty has been noted for it’s optimistic language that focuses on international cooperation and scientific exploration, it has also been contested by a variety of long-standing and emerging interests within the broader space community.What exactly is in the treaty and what parts are contested? This talk will cover the major components of the Outer Space Treaty, focusing mostly on Articles I-X. Further, current and future interests such as those related to orbital debris mitigation, resource extraction, off-Earth colonization, and increased militarization will be discussed regarding future challenges for the OST and the continuing debate of who, and what, space is for.
October 20th, 12:30 PM, Western University, Physics and Astronomy Building, Rm. 100
Building upon panels on the Geographies of Outer Space held over the past three Annual Meetings of the Association of American Geographers, we again wish to bring together critical geographers interested in non-Earth spaces.
In accordance with one the major themes of this year’s AAG meeting, ‘Public Engagement in Geography’, this paper session is particularly interested in perspectives which address the intersection of non-earth spaces and public engagement. Specifically, we are inviting contributions which explore the democratization and (de)politicization of non-earth places and related technologies.
As discussed in previous panels, human endeavors are extending many of the most central issues in geography—property rights and enclosures, place making, the politics of knowledge production, and questions of pollution and conservation, inter alia—to places beyond our terrestrial home. The engagement of off-Earth spaces by the public as well as by practitioners in the fields of aerospace engineering, communications, planetary exploration, and warfare (amongst others) take place within varied sets of discourses and values that merit timely and crucial scholarly attention.
To this point, Outer Space as both a place, and space, of human endeavor has yet to emerge as a major sub-field of geography, despite its importance in everyday life. With paper sessions and networking over the past several years in the US and the UK, the organizers of this session wish to continue the productive dialogue amongst outer space geographers.
The 2018 meeting of this growing group of critical outer space geographers will also serve as a preview of a forthcoming special issue on the critical geopolitics of outer space, which emerged from last year’s conference.
The organizers invite papers that contribute to the continuing maturation of the field focusing on this year’s theme of the intersection of outer space with issues of democracy and public engagement.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
Access to space-based technologies
Capitalist construction of outer space geographies and materials
Discourses of Armageddon, colonialism, survival, and escapism
Gendered discourses and practices in the space industry
Labour practices, relations, and struggles in space technology
Narratives of New Space
Orbital debris mitigation and responsibility
Planetary contamination and intergenerational equity
Satellites, surveillance, and privacy
Space exploration, war profiteering, and human rights-violating regimes
Utopianism and a/de/politicization of space
Treaties, Policy, and Democracy
Danny Bednar, Department of Geography, Western University. firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Michelle Klinger, Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University. email@example.com
Selected References: (Beery 2012, Parks and Schwoch 2012, Redfield 2001, Dickens and Ormrod 2016, Macdonald 2007, Dunnett 2016, Messeri 2016, Klinger 2017, Lane 2010, Olson 2012, O’Leary and Capelotti 2015)
Beery, Jason. 2012. “State, Capital and Spaceships: A Terrestrial Geography of Space Tourism.” Geoforum 43 (1):25-34.
Dickens, P, and J Ormrod, eds. 2016. The Palgrave Handbook of Society, Culture, and Outer Space. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Dunnett, Oliver. 2016. “Geopolitical cultures of outer space: The British Interplanetary Society, 1933 – 1965.” Geopolitics 22 (2):452 – 473.
Klinger, Julie Michelle. 2017. Rare Earth Frontiers: From Terrestrial Subsoils to Lunar Landscapes. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Lane, K. M. D. 2010. Geographies of Mars: Seeing and Knowing the Red Planet. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
Macdonald, Fraser. 2007. “Anti-Astropolitik: Outer Space and the Orbit of Geography.” Progress in Human Geography 31 (5):592-615.
Messeri, Lisa Rebecca. 2016. Placing Outer Space: An Earthly Ethnography of Other Worlds. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
O’Leary, Beth Laura, and P.J. Capelotti, eds. 2015. Archaeology and Heritage of the Human Movement into Space. New York: Springer.
Olson, VA. 2012. “Political Ecology in the Extreme: Asteroid Activism and the Making of an Environmental Solar System.” Anthropological Quarterly 58 (4):1027 – 1044.
Parks, L., and J. Schwoch, eds. 2012. Down to Earth: Satellite Technologies, Industries, and Cultures. New Brunswick, New Jersey, and London: Rutgers University Press.
Redfield, Peter. 2001. Space in the Tropics: From Convicts to Rockets in French Guiana. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.
Image Credit: New Orleans from space (nasa.gov).