team_MasterPhotos14-15_0000s_0009_Auga, Ulrike

Ulrike Auga
Humboldt University, Germany


Life and Visuality in Space Images: A Contribution to the Epistemological Foundations of Astrobiology

CTI’s excellence, independence, and social responsibility are an ideal place for a full year of creative work. Working with specialists in observatory and image production contexts, and with the NASA Astrobiology and Society Focus Group will greatly enrich the study. My focus is on NASA space image production, which plays an outstanding role in the scientific and public perception of ‘life’ in the universe. To avoid diverse violent effects, I analyze the discursive power of space images and propose alternatives for NASA space image politics. I develop an epistemological framework for astrobiology and analyze the mechanisms of knowledge production and discourses on ‘life’ in this discipline suggesting an astrobiology of “diffraction” and “deep ecology” as non-exclusive scientific knowledge production strategy. 

Ulrike Auga is a transdisciplinary Religious Studies, Cultural Theory and Gender Scholar. Since 2008 she has been Professor for Theology and Gender Studies at Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany. In 2014 she was the Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Endowed-Chair at Union Theological Seminary / Columbia University New York City. Dr. Auga is the cofounder of the International Association for the Study of Religion and Gender. Born in East-Berlin she participated in the peaceful revolution in 1989 against the East German dictatorship and became involved with social movements and issues of justice, solidarity, gender and theology. She further developed her postcolonial and postsecular critique when she worked for several years in South Africa, Mali, Israel, and the Palestinian Territories. Her current research interests include: Epistemology and Astrobiology; Bio-Politics, Religion and Life; Visual Culture Critique and Religion; Religion and Science.