• Luca Spiller
Manned space exploration and displacement represent journeys at opposite ends of a continuum, with one venturing beyond Earth for humanity's benefit and the other involving movement within Earth for survival. This thesis investigates the possibility of comparing these seemingly incomparable phenomena and uncovers what such a comparison can reveal about the concept of journey. It employs Lazar's notion of disjunctive comparison, which enables the examination of seemingly incompatible subjects. The comparative analysis operates at two distinct levels: meso and macro. The meso level contextualises and compares the journeys of NASA astronauts and displaced individuals through a hermeneutic cycle, acquiring knowledge at each stage, progressing from space exploration to displacement, and eventually returning to space exploration. The macro level incorporates characteristics identified through multidisciplinary literature analysis in arts, religion, and literature, including origin, destination, duration, resources, actors, purpose, agency, effects, and preparation, to examine and compare the structural aspects of these journeys. By undertaking these comparisons, this research uncovers both similarities and differences, thereby challenging the assumption that journey is a static category. It explores the roles of sovereignty, international cooperation, agency, resources, and actors in these journeys. It also questions the applicability of conventional journey categories like origin, destination, and duration in accurately capturing the nature of a journey. The thesis promotes interdisciplinary connections between space exploration and displacement studies, highlighting the value of comparing these seemingly disjunctive phenomena. It encourages further research questions to deepen our understanding of journeys and their broad implications.
SpecialisationGlobal Refugee Studies
Publication date2023
Number of pages65
ID: 532381048