JHU / The Alexander Grass Humanities Institute, April 22:
“By offering us new access to remote worlds in our own solar system, the telescope radically shifted our view of our cosmos and ourselves in the 17th century. Now the new James Webb Space telescope will vastly expand our understanding of our universe’s beginnings – and end. Its launch in December 2021 provides a focal point for critical reflections on the traditions and implications of cosmic viewing.
Taking the long view on the telescopic tradition itself, we wish to probe, from interdisciplinary perspectives, the political and philosophical dimensions of cosmic viewing, and how the act and its instruments have shaped scientific, philosophical and artistic imaginaries across time. We are particularly interested to explore how telescopy – including telescopic desires before the invention of the telescope itself – brings the worlds of Sciences and the Humanities into closer contact, bridging interdisciplinary space as well as cosmic.
This one-day colloquium/sandbox will bring invited scholars together to share short, experimental presentations and to brainstorm ideas for a grant application to fund an ambitious interdisciplinary STEM/Humanities research-project built around the James Webb Space telescope and traditions of teleskopia.”