Event Title

The False Frontier: Neocolonial Nostalgia in the Outer Space Imaginary

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Description

This project traces the political function of nostalgia in the ongoing development of the 'outer space imaginary'--the linked discourse between outer space fiction and real-world outer space policy--from the 20th through the early 21st century. In considering the modern outer space imaginary, this project constructs and analyzes a timeline of selected works of science fiction and legal policy. Centered around Stanislaw Lem's novel Solaris (1961) and its Russian and U.S. film adaptations in subsequent decades (1972, 2002), it compares this reiterated narrative with contemporaneous legal rhetoric. I posit that the gradual domestication of Solaris' core narrative typifies a manipulative neocolonial nostalgia that permeates the outer space imaginary and has directed the present path of space policy towards privatization.

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The False Frontier: Neocolonial Nostalgia in the Outer Space Imaginary

This project traces the political function of nostalgia in the ongoing development of the 'outer space imaginary'--the linked discourse between outer space fiction and real-world outer space policy--from the 20th through the early 21st century. In considering the modern outer space imaginary, this project constructs and analyzes a timeline of selected works of science fiction and legal policy. Centered around Stanislaw Lem's novel Solaris (1961) and its Russian and U.S. film adaptations in subsequent decades (1972, 2002), it compares this reiterated narrative with contemporaneous legal rhetoric. I posit that the gradual domestication of Solaris' core narrative typifies a manipulative neocolonial nostalgia that permeates the outer space imaginary and has directed the present path of space policy towards privatization.