Anthropologies on and off Earth
Space, as the next frontier, but is it? Popular culture has created imagined scenarios for the future of space, both as a place to exist and with innovative technology to take us there. Join visiting guest speaker Juan Francisco Salazar from Western Sydney University as he discusses the possibilities of this new world.
The event is free – all academic, industry and other organisation-based researchers and scholars (including PhD students) interested in anthropology, futures, space, speculative thinking, emerging technology, film and popular culture are encouraged to come. Presented by the Monash University Emerging Technologies Research Lab.
In this seminar Juan Salazar responds to recent calls for a space-inclusive anthropology that does not assume that our planet’s upper atmosphere is either where the relationship between the social and the ecological ends, or is a natural boundary for earthly forms of life.
Through a range of case studies and films, Juan will examine how different imaginaries and knowledge practices of outer space come into conflict, to ask what is at stake in sociocultural terms when outer space is recast not only as a new economic frontier but as a cosmic ecosystem; and what are the political ecological implications of a growing space economy and its associated emerging new technologies and infrastructures off Earth.
About the speaker
Juan Francisco Salazar is an Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, and Research Director of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) at Western Sydney University. As an anthropologist, communication specialist and filmmaker, his academic and creative work is concerned with the coupled dynamics of socio-environmental change. He has worked with a range of communities in Chile, Colombia, central Australia, Cambodia, Vanuatu and Antarctica. His latest book is the co-edited volume Anthropology and Futures: Researching Emerging and Uncertain Worlds (Bloomsbury, 2017, with Sarah Pink) and his latest film is the award-winning documentary Nightfall on Gaia (2015). He is currently leading the Australian Research Council Linkage Project Antarctic Cities and the Global Commons: Rethinking the Gateways (2017-2020) and completing a new feature length documentary film titled The Bamboo Bridge in collaboration with Katherine Gibson.