Remembering the Apollo Moon Landings
Lewis Goodings, Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Roehampton University, is coming to the University on Wednesday 12th December to speak about an analysis of people’s memories of the Apollo moon landings. All University of Northampton staff and research students are welcome.
Wednesday 12th December at 3pm in C204. Refreshments will be available. On Deck 3 of the National Space Centre there is an exhibit that is dedicated to remembering the Apollo moon landings. The exhibit is a replica of a 1960s living room that invites the visitors to write down their memories and the pin them up all round the room on small pieces of card.
The cards were analysed in terms of the social and cultural practices of remembering and, following the work of Bolter & Grusin (1999), this talk will discuss the practices of ‘mediation’ and ‘remediation’ in how people conceptualise their memories of the moon landings.
The later sections of the talk will analyse the post-mission press conference from the Apollo 13 space flight. It will focus on the ‘problem’ that prevented the Astronauts (Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise) from landing on the moon and will consider how retrospective talk about the event mobilises a number of membership categories – such as ‘highly trained technicians’, ‘personal friends’ and ‘direct witnesses of the event’. It is noted that these categories are typically not overtly named or claimed in the talk (e.g. ‘we are highly trained’, ‘we are friends’ or ‘we alone directly experienced this event’) but instead are imputed as shared properties of the three crew members in the act of their constructing ‘what happened’ and ‘what we did’. These imputed membership categories in turn provide a means of reading the events, the crew members’ responses to them and the telling rights that the crew have regarding the mission. The analysis will explore how the discussion of the events is constructed in terms of a shared commonality that provides a way of achieving a number of social accomplishments (e.g. reducing the ambiguity of the event and minimising the potential for blame).