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Space Travel and Culture: from Apollo to Space Tourism

Space Travel and Culture: from Apollo to Space Tourism

Paperback Sociological Review Monographs

Edited by David Bell, Edited by Martin Parker

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  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Format: Paperback | 232 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 13mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 15 June 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Chicester
  • ISBN 10: 1405193328
  • ISBN 13: 9781405193320
  • Edition statement: New ed.
  • Sales rank: 1,163,967

Product description

Explores the significance of the first Apollo moon landing and how the countless books, films, and products associated with factual space fiction had an affect on popular culture and artistic practice, but not social sciences and humanities Investigates how a topic is hugely important in popular culture, but almost invisible in the academy, and how it makes us want to ask questions about visibility, or perhaps self-censorship Evaluates how little impact the space age actually had on the social sciences and humanities - partly because its combination of military-industrial cold war politics, combined with patriarchy and big science, sits uneasily with contemporary thought in these areas Provides an interdisciplinary collection of essays on various aspects of NASA, the moon landing, and the commercialization of space generally The book travels from hard engineering to space romance, echoing the variety of attempts to blur science and culture

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Author information

David Bell is Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography at Leeds University. His interests span critical human geography and cultural studies, and include cultural policy, urban and rural cultures, consumption and lifestyle, science and technology, and sexuality. Martin Parker is Professor of Culture and Organization at the University of Leicester School of Management. His latest writing has been about the Mafia, angels, pirates, and skyscrapers.

Review quote

"Students of the space age have to choose among the many books that appear on the topic; this book is one of the better ones." (Quest, 2010)

Back cover copy

One of the most iconic moments of the twentieth century was the first Apollo moon landing. The images of the earth from space, of Armstrong and Aldrin on the moon, the massive cold war organisation of NASA and the Soviet Union, and the countless books, films and products associated with factual space fiction have a huge significance in terms of popular culture and artistic practice. However, it is remarkable how little impact the space age has had on the social sciences and humanities more specifically. Perhaps this is partly because its combination of militaryindustrial cold war politics, combined with patriarchy and big science, sits uneasily with contemporary thought in these areas. To admit an interest in such matters is likely to suggest a wilful detachment from the urgencies of contemporary life, or the sophistications of contemporary theory, unless it is a topic being used to demonstrate the catastrophic failures of complex organization, or the hubris of nation states, or the dreams of men.

Table of contents

Introduction: Making Space ( Martin Parker, University of Leicester School of Management and David Bell, University of Leeds ). 1. Checklist: The Secret Life of Apollo's "Fourth Crewmember" ( Matthew H. Hersch, University of Pennsylvania ). 2. A Political History of NASA's Space Shuttle: The Development Years, 1972-1982 ( Brian Woods, University of Glasgow ). 3. The Geostationary Orbit: A Critical Legal Geography of Space's Most Valuable Real Estate ( Christy Collis, Queensland University of Technology - Brisbane ). 4. The Cosmos as Capitalism's Outside ( Peter Dickens, Universities of Brighton and Essex and University of Cambridge ). 5. Capitalists in Space ( Martin Parker, University of Leicester School of Management ). 6. Space is the (non)Place: Martians, Marxists, and the Outer Space of the Radical Imagination ( Stevphen Shukaitis, University of Essex ). 7. The Space Race and Soviet Utopian Thinking ( Iina Kohonen, University of Art and Design, Helsinki ). 8. The archaeology of space exploration ( Alice Gorman, Flinders University ). 9. Giant Leaps and Forgotten Steps: NASA and the Performance of Gender ( Daniel Sage, Loughborough University ). 10. Idealised Heroes of 'Retrotopia': History, Identity and the Postmodern in Apollo 13 ( Dario Llinares, University of Leeds ). 11. Middle America, the Moon, the Sublime and the Uncanny ( Darren Jorgensen, University of Western Australia ). 12. Re-thinking Apollo: Envisioning Environmentalism in Space ( Holly Henry, California State University, San Bernardino and Amanda Taylor, California State University, San Bernardino ). 13. Conclusion: To Infinity and Beyond? ( Warren Smith, University of Leicester School of Management ). Notes on Contributors. Index.