Arts & Ideas 2018-2019: Moon Landing in Context

Arts & Ideas 2018-2019: Moon Landing in Context

Aug 28, 2018

Framingham State University is pleased to announce its 2018-19 Arts & Ideas series, headlined this year by 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, FSU 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 27th, 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

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. 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.

Other series in the program include the Midday Performance Series; Mazmanian Gallery exhibits; the Lifelong Learning Series; and the Authors and Artists Series.

Nearly every event in the Arts & Ideas program is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.