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  • 2020SalemPhD

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Cinema and commercial space tourism: The politics of escapism

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Published
  • Bernadette Salem
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Publication date28/05/2020
Number of pages339
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract


Space tourism has been one of the most enduring tropes in the cinema from the early 1900s until the present day, yet there exists no systematic, comprehensive investigation situating these widely diversified depictions of space tourism within a broader historical context of technological innovation and associated social transformation. The contemporary social climate, whereby commercial space tourism is an emergent possibility, calls for the decolonisation of the term ‘tourism’ and its categorical associations, in order to assess how visions of space tourism within cinematic, science-fiction futures project the history of tourism and its detrimental environmental, commercial, and colonial implications.

The written portion of the dissertation uses close-textual-analysis and discursive transcoding as the primary methodologies to identify and investigate five unique trends in the thematic representation of cinematic space tourism, each linked to a distinct ‘moment’ of widespread crisis and transformation. Ultimately, this will contribute to a broader understanding concerning how science-fiction explores social constructions of race, class, and gender. As a practice-based accompaniment to these critical discussions, I relay my findings in a space film which compiles knowledge drawn from film and literature scholarship, as well as from the analysis of the selected case studies