FRAMINGHAM – Framingham State University announced it will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with a 15-month project titled “Moon Landing in Context,” which aims to contextualize the moon landing within the historical, social, and cultural framework of the Sixties.
The project is directed by Dr. Irene Porro, director of Framingham State’s Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning, and is supported by experts from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, University faculty and scholars from other academic institutions.
Highlights of the project, which overlaps with the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing on July 20, 2019, include a talk with Congressman Joseph Kennedy III in October, who will reflect on President John F. Kennedy’s famous exhortation, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
The space race unfolded during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. As such, the series looks at the history and social environment that were inevitably intertwined with the events that led to the Moon Landing or were affected by it.
In November, Alex Gourevitch from Brown University will discuss the radicalism of Martin Luther King, Jr’s civil disobedience and his important role in the 1968 revival of a long tradition of mass law-breaking that can be traced backwards through a hundred years of labor radicalism.
In February, there will be a panel discussion on the evolution and development of spacesuits from both an engineering and historical and cultural point of view.
The series kicks off on September 27, with a talk by Frank White, author of The Overview Effect, who will discuss the little-known fact that President Kennedy wanted Apollo to be a multinational mission, not a “space race.”
There are 20 events in the series, all of which are free and open to the public.
To learn more and view all of the events, visit www.moon-landing.org.
Outside of the feature series, this year’s Arts & Ideas program includes several other exciting events and performances that are free and open to the public.
On September 21, the University will welcome Grammy award winning Timbalero Eguie Castrillo and his 11-piece salsa band for an outdoor performance in Crocker Grove. Castrillo is a Framingham resident.
In February, Sociology Professor Crystal Fleming will offer a fresh, accessible and irreverent critique of the national conversation about race in the U.S. based on her book, How to Be Less Stupid About Race.
For more information, visit www.framingham.edu/artsandideas.