William Lempert
Mar 14, 2017 · 2 min read

This is the third and final episode in a special AnthroPod trilogy highlighting three anthropologists of outer space. It follows the first two episodes in the series including “Haircuts and Billionaires” with Dr. David Valentine and “Moon Dust and Cosmo/politics” with Dr. Debbora Battaglia.

Incorporating soundscapes created from the recently released NASA audio archive, these episodes aim to place the work of these anthropologists in dialogue with current events and popular culture.

Dr. Valerie Olson

In this episode I interview Dr. Valerie Olson, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado at Irvine. We discuss various topics including:

  • The limits of the Anthropocene
  • The rise of systems thinking
  • Off-world architecture
  • Increasing space garbage
  • The familiarization of Mars
  • Underwater astronaut training
  • The Scott Kelly twin study
  • Health and the body off-planet
  • Space food including ice cream
Long exposure of Earth. Photo by NASA.

I hope you will continue to join us on on the final leg of this journey to better understand what it means to be human beyond the planet on which we have evolved.

For another podcast exploration of outer space anthropology, see this episode of the Cultures of Energy podcast with Lisa Messeri on her exciting new book, “Placing Outer Space: An Earthly Ethnography of Other Worlds.”

Astronaut with Space Ice Cream. Photo by Vox Media.

Special thanks to Executive Producer Marios Falaris for valuable feedback, NASA for their vast sound library, and Vox Media for the use of an illustrated image of an astronaut holding the iconic three colored Neapolitan space ice cream from their video “Astronaut Ice Cream is a Lie.”

You can find AnthroPod at SoundCloud, subscribe to it on iTunes, or use our RSS feed.

This post was adapted from its homepage on culanth.org.

Space + Anthropology

tech | culture | space | anthropology | sci-fi | art

William Lempert

Written by

I am an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. I work collaboratively with Indigenous filmmakers in Northwestern Australia.

Space + Anthropology

tech | culture | space | anthropology | sci-fi | art

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