Katherine Harrison

Smithsonian Scholar Award, National Air and Space Museum - Mass Communications

Katherine is Senior Lecturer in Media in the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities at Leeds Beckett University. She completed her Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded PhD in Visual Culture at Lancaster University, during which time she was a visiting researcher at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. As a Fulbrighter, she returns to Washington to investigate the visual culture of the 20th-century Space Age using the archives and expertise of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. She is particularly interested in imagery of Planet Earth produced from an ‘outside’ perspective by astronauts and space technologies, and its influence on public understandings of the ‘home planet’. The archival research is part of a wider project that interrogates the visual culture of the emerging 21st-century Space Age; an era in which commercial spaceflight operators have begun to generate privatised perspectives back on Earth and out into the cosmos. These privileged perspectives have the potential to shape future understandings of our collective ‘home planet’ and its status as a place of return or merely a place of origin. While in the USA, Katherine hopes to visit the Kennedy Space Center to see a rocket launch.