Mythology and the Colonisation of Space

Mary-Jane Rubenstein in conversation with Alina Utrata

As environmental, political, and public health crises multiply on Earth, we are also at the dawn of a new space race in which governments team up with celebrity billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to exploit the cosmos for human gain. 

In this event, philosopher of science and religion Mary-Jane Rubenstein will pull back the curtain on the not-so-new myths these space barons are peddling, like growth without limit, energy without guilt, and salvation in a brand-new world. As Rubenstein will argue, we have already seen the destructive effects of this frontier zealotry in the centuries-long history of European colonialism. By contrast, Rubenstein will offer a vision of exploring space without reproducing the atrocities of earthly colonialism, encouraging us to find and even make stories that put cosmic caretaking over profiteering.

Mary-Jane Rubenstein is Professor of Religion and Science in Society at Wesleyan University, and is affiliated with the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. Her research unearths the philosophies and histories of religion and science, especially in relation to cosmology, ecology, and space travel. Her new book, Astrotopia: The Dangerous Religion of the Corporate Space Race, is published later this year by Chicago University Press.
Website: https://www.maryjanerubenstein.com

Alina Utrata is a PhD Candidate in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Gates-Cambridge and Marshall scholar. Her research looks at technology corporations, focusing on the political theory of the corporation and how Silicon Valley tech companies may be challenging or affecting the power of the state. She also hosts the podcast “The Anti-Dystopians: The Politics Podcast about Tech”.
Website: https://www.alinautrata.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/alinautrata

Monday 5th December

7-8pm UK / 11am-12pm PDT / 2-3pm EDT