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Confronting the Martian: Humanity's Changing Concepts about Life on the Red Planet - LIB 100 APPROVED!

The planet Mars

The planet Mars

Date and Time

Thursday, October 18, 2018
1:00 p.m.


  • Haas Center for Performing Arts » 1121 - GVSU Art Gallery


Human beings have always told stories about the planet Mars, starting with ancient civilizations who connected the celestial body to various deities. Once Mars was understood to be a planet, similar to Earth, concepts began to shift, with astronomers and others envisioning our closest planetary neighbor as somewhere rife with potentially dangerous, very alien life. An increase in scientific capability and resulting knowledge, however, has changed our understandings yet again, with Mars now seen primarily as a place where humans themselves will someday come to be called Martians. This presentation will take an anthropological look at humanity's fascination with life on Mars (including popular cultural representations of it, from 'little green men' to Gardner Elliot), and consider what this fascination reveals about societies here on Earth.

Presented by Deana Weibel, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology at Grand Valley State University

This program is "LIB 100 Approved!"

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