Enterprise Zones: Critical Positions On Star Trek (Film Studies)

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9780813328980: Enterprise Zones: Critical Positions On Star Trek (Film Studies)

Can you imagine a world without Star Trek —without warp drive, phasers, photon torpedoes, tricorders, communicators, and transporters? After six Hollywood movies and twenty-five years of nonstop television presence, Star Trek is, indeed, a pervasive cultural phenomenon! This is the first critical, scholarly look at the mysteries, hidden meanings, and complex issues of the text known as Star Trek. Looking at the original Spock-Kirk Star Trek, the contributors ask and answer questions such as: What are the cultural conditions surrounding the homoerotic relationship between Kirk and Spock? How does the show depict gender relations while simultaneously recreating the cultural conditions under which women continue to experience sexual aggression and violence? They also explore Star Trek: The Next Generation, raising issues such as: Was Data a battlefield on which the struggle for human rights was waged? Did militarism and warring versions of masculinity intersect at Worf?Readers will discover the unique charges of cultural studies scholarship and how it enables us to designate a powerful pop-cultural phenomenon such as Star Trek into a legitimate site of study. The thirteen essayists address the very real and necessary topics of hegemony, utopias, militarism, colonialism, gender, violence, race, class, sexuality, and liminality, analyzing individual episodes and overarching themes of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Their insights on how Star Trek affects what we understand our culture to be, how it represents the social and political order, and how it reproduces pleasure and pain in its televisual texts, will fascinate scholars, students, and Trekkers alike.

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Review:

If you've always thought that Star Trek and Star Trek: the Next Generation deserved the kind of close, political analysis that first-year English classes currently lavish on The Odyssey and To The Lighthouse, then Enterprise Zones: Critical Positions on Star Trek is the volume you have been waiting for. But, then, how could anyone fail to enjoy articles entitled "Worf as Metonymic Signifier of Racial, Cultural and National Differences," and "General Chang as Homoerotic Enablement in Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country"? The twin charms of this book lie in the writers' ability to quote dialog from dozens of episodes as though they were great works of the Western Canon, and in their frequent failure to distinguish the fictional Federation from a real political entity crying out for critical reappraisal. A delight on many levels.

From Library Journal:

Thirteen scholars contributed to this volume, the first of its kind to address Star TrekR critically. Where Camille Bacon-Smith's Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth (Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1992) focused on audiences, Enterprise Zones dissects the episodes and films. The contributors challenge Star Trek's avowed utopian vision and liberal humanism, demonstrating the concerns of recent cultural studies in academe. Essays explore such topics as Captain Kirk's masculinity, Lt. Commander Data's cyborg nature, and Counselor Troi's costumes. Emphasis is given to the politics of the original series and The Next Generation, and both are discussed in terms of militarism and neocolonialism. The contributors write with suspicion, insight, and respect for their subject matter, making this a sterling addition for any academic library. General readers might well be alienated by the scholarly jargon, however.?Neal Baker, Dickinson Coll. Lib., Carlisle, Pa.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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