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Outer Space Utopias of the 1970s

International Conference "Envisioning Limits: Outer Space and the End of Utopia" to Be Held April 19 – 21 at Freie Universität Berlin

№ 79/2012 from Apr 13, 2012

The Emmy Noether Research Group “The Future in the Stars” is holding a three-day symposium from April 19 to 21 on the history of space travel and ideas prevalent in the 1970s about outer space and the future. The symposium is open to the public, but advance registration is requested. Journalists are welcome, and arrangements can be made to hold interviews before the symposium. The conference language is English.

The first decades following World War II were characterized by a close association of ideas about the future and outer space. It was thought that the future would take place in outer space. Once humans had landed on the moon and succeeded in colonizing it, Mars could not be far behind. It was not until the 1970s, after the moon landing and against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and a global oil crisis that this view seems to have changed. The idea of an imminent future in the stars lost its social appeal as well as its power to shape contemporary culture.

Was there an abrupt change during the 1970s? Are the post-Apollo years and the pre-space-shuttle-years really a turning point, or were they actually more of a transitional phase? The international transdisciplinary three-day symposium on “Envisioning Limits: Outer Space and the End of Utopia” aims to take a decidedly Western European perspective on the history of space and ideas and to expand the previously heavily U.S.-Soviet dominated historiography. The first day of the conference will be concluded with a Lecture Performance by the artist Agnes Meyer-Brandis (Berlin University of the Arts).

There is a conference fee of 50 euros (reduced 25 euros) to cover the cost of food, drinks, and refreshments during the event. For media representatives participation is free. Björn Blaß (bjoern.blass@fu-berlin.de) will be available as a press adviser.

Time and Place

  • April 19 to 21, 2012
  • Harnack House, Max Planck Society
    Ihnestraße 16-20, 14195 Berlin, subway station: Thielplatz (U3, toward Krumme Lanke)

Advance Registration for Journalists

RSVP by April 16 to Freie Universität Berlin, Office of News and Public Affairs, Tel. +49 (0)30 / 838-73180, Email: presse@fu-berlin.de

Advance Registration

RSVP by April 16 (Email only): astrofuturismus@fu-berlin.de

Further Information

Conference Program: www.limits.geschkult.fu-berlin.de

Emmy Noether Research Group “The Future in the Stars: European Astroculture and Extraterrestrial Life in the Twentieth Century”: www.geschkult.fu-berlin.de/astrofuturismus