The Future in the Stars: European Astroculture and extraterrestrial Life in the 20th Century
Emmy Noether Research Group
Modern European History
Katie Boyce-Jacino is currently a third-year PhD candidate in the Humanities Center at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland (USA). Prior to arriving at Johns Hopkins, she earned a B.A. in 2010 from Wesleyan University in History and Astronomy. There, she studied the intellectual history of interwar Europe and the light curves of transiting exoplanets. In 2011 she was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin. Her dissertation is tentatively entitled “Planetaria and the Architecture of the Sublime.” It focuses on the emergence of planetariums in the Weimar Republic and their spread to the United States. This project examines the planetarium as a site in which conflicting discourses of modernity intersected. While most histories of planetariums situate them either as cruder versions of cinema or as places of pure pedagogy, this project examines the planetarium’s immersive representation of outer space as both a pedagogical and spectacular experience. The planetarium, then, emerges as a site in which the disordered world of the post-war period was rearticulated into a wholly ordered, projected cosmos. In the academic year 2013/2014 Boyce-Jacino is a visiting scholar at the Emmy Noether Research Group "The Future in the Stars."