William Lempert
Feb 14, 2017 · 2 min read

This is the second episode in a special podcast trilogy through AnthroPod highlighting three anthropologists of outer space. The other two episodes include “Haircuts and Billionaires” with Dr. David Valentine and “Ice Cream and Architecture” with Dr. Valerie Olson.

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. Debbora Battaglia

In this episode I interview Dr. Debbora Battaglia, Senior Research Professor of Anthropology at Mount Holyoke College. We discuss a variety of topics including:

  • The social life of moon dust
  • Interspecies space projects
  • The diary of a space zucchini
  • The radical psychological shifts of moon-walking astronauts
  • The relationship between UFO and immigration rhetoric
  • Cold war cosmopolitics
  • The détente handshake between the US and Soviets
  • How Kennedy wanted Apollo to be a US/Soviet collaboration
  • The problem of attempting to predict the future
Soyuz-Apollo Handshake. Photo by NASA.

The final episode, to be released in March, will engage Dr. Valerie Olson on outer space as a new human environment in relation to food, medicine, and architecture.

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

Footprints on the Moon. Photo by NASA.

Special thanks to Executive Producer Marios Falaris for valuable feedback, NASA for their vast sound library, and New Hampshire Public Radio for the inclusion of their moving dramatization of the Dairy of a Space Zucchini, voiced by Sean Hurley of their program Word of Mouth.

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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