Star Trek: The Next Generation was far more than a simple reboot of Gene Roddenberry’s original sixties television program. A decade after counterculture’s end, the Watergate scandal and American “malaise,” and now in the waning days of the Reagan Administration, the crew of the Enterprise 1701-D addressed the “next generation” of social, political, and cultural shifts in American society. The television show’s phenomenal success not only spawned four feature films and several television spin-offs, but also changed the face of science-fiction in the twenty-first century. Without Star Trek: The Next Generation, the millennial reboot of Star Trek would have looked vastly different, if it occurred at all.
From the moment Captain Jean-Luc Picard walked out of the shadows in “Encounter at Farpoint,” Star Trek: The Next Generation has expanded into the cultural consciousness beyond the confines of television screens. Comic book adaptations, video games, and an “expanded universe” in novels, comic books, and video games have extended Gene Roddenberry’s and his successor’s visions of the future. Terms such as “replicators,” “holodecks,” and “resistance is futile” have entered the public lexicon alongside the old terms “warp drive,” “phasers,” and “beam me up.”
This anthology is the first book-length study to consider Star Trek: The Next Generation as an exclusive whole, including the television show, movies, non-continuity extensions, and fandom. (The characters from The Next Generation have appeared in other Star Trek spin-offs, and while those appearances can be addressed, the focus should remain on The Next Generation).The show’s rapid ascent from 1987 to its mixed ending in 2002 offers multiple rich readings about its historical and cultural contexts. The anthology will concentrate less of the filmic plots and life in the twenty-fourth century and more on how these various factors reflect the cultural milieus of their origins.
Potential topics include but are no means limited to:
- The Masterpiece Society: Creating the Twenty-Fourth Century in a Revitalized Cold War
- Holodecks: Recreating Narratives in Science-Fiction Fantasy
- Picard: Defining Leadership in Reagan’s Cowboy Diplomacy
- Q v. Guinan: Questioning Mysticism and Godliness in the Age of Technobabble
- Dropouts: Childhood Expectations from Alexander to Wesley
- Crusher, Rozhenko, and Single Parents: The Collapse of the Nuclear Family on the Enterprise
- Imzadi?: Defining Monogamy in the Future
- Assimilating Outcasts: Starfleet-izing Ro, Barclay, Pulaski, and Nonconformists
- Troi: Expressing Individuality in a Uniformed Crew
- Greed is Good: The Ferengi as Failed Villains
- The Short-lived Miniskirt and Veiled Queer Culture
- Crusher: The Cure-All Hypospray and Medical Humanities
- Why LaForge Can’t Keep a Beard: The (sight) Sensitive Masculine Model
- Undiscovered Countries: The Klingon Civil War, “Unification,” and the end of the Cold War
- Measuring Life: Sons of Soong and the Human Question Mark
- Yar’s Fate: Assertive Women in the “Backlash” Era
- The High Ground: Militarism in a Mission of Exploration
- Worf: Ways of a Warrior in a Pacifist Society
- Resistance: The Borg, Transhumanism, and Individualism
- Nexus of Possibilities: Why Couldn’t Kirk Survive in the 24thCentury?
- A Real Nemesis: The End of Utopianism in a post-9/11 Context
Abstracts should run about 250 words and are due by November 30, 2015. All submissions will be acknowledged. Final papers will run approximately 20-25 pages, reflecting Star Trek’s broad audience of fans and academics alike
Contributors’ first drafts will be due by mid-June 2016 and final drafts by September 1, 2016 with a 2017 publication date.
Call for papers
Deadline: November 30, 2015
Posted: October 16, 2015