Abstract

Abstract:

An emergent outer space media cycle represents a future of space exploration fraught with terrestrial anxieties about the geopolitical role of the United States in two major forces shaping the class dynamics of worldwide urbanisation: neoliberal globalisation and anthropogenic climate change. As with these global economic and environmental issues, outer space necessitates theorising the social totality. Even as it promotes the particular interests of the American hegemon, mass media summons us to think in the universalist terms of the Anthropocene and imagine utopian possibilities.

We interpret this outer space media cycle using a semiotic square consisting of four conflicting political stances on the US's future in outer space. While the films Gravity and Interstellar engage in the nostalgic nationalist politics of 1) reactionary state imperialism and 2) progressive state socialism, Orphans of Apollo, Elysium and Oblivion promote 3) corporatist-libertarian cosmopolitanism, the future-oriented belief that space should be privatised and exploited for profit on an international scale. We refer to the future-oriented utopian vision of an international space agenda for public outer space as 4) cosmos-politanism. The Martian and the television miniseries Cosmos provide case studies in the difficulties of mainstream American media to imagine this most speculatively leftist political position.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1754-3789
Print ISSN
1754-3770
Pages
pp. 343-363
Launched on MUSE
2019-10-24
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.