Imperialism, Technology and Tropicality in Arthur C Clarke's Geopolitics of Outer Space

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Abstract

This paper addresses geopolitical cultures of outer space by examining the selected life and works of Arthur C. Clarke (1918-2008), one of the leading space technology advocates of the twentieth century, in the specific context of his adopted home of Ceylon / Sri Lanka. Within the framework of studies that have connected critical geopolitics and science, further discussions concerning the interface between imperialism, technology and tropicality help demonstrate the relevance of Clarke’s geographical imagination to understanding geopolitical cultures of outer space. Three aspects of Clarke’s life and works are examined: First, his underwater exploration activities in Ceylon from the late 1950s to the early 1970s; second, his 1979 Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel The Fountains of Paradise; and finally, his promotion of Sri Lanka as a future hub of outer space technologies in the early 1980s. The paper suggests that geopolitical readings of outer space can be understood through investigating diverse aspects of place, landscape and identity.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalGeopolitics
Early online date31 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 31 Jan 2019

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