Star Trek: A Post-structural Critique

No, this is not the cover…or is it?

Wayne State Univ. Press was not satisfied with the revision of my short monograph for their TV Milestones Series, so instead of going back again and having the book pushed to 2011, I pulled it, and Borgo Press agreed it was ready for publication, and should have it out this month.  Will I miss some library sales?  Probably. But it will be found by those interested.

Look for it soon on the publisher’s site

or order from Amazon here.

Or at Mobipocket here.


In this unique monograph, Michael Hemmingson looks beyond the original 1960s Star Trek as mere televisual milestone – the only series to last just three seasons yet creating a franchise worth billions of dollars –and considers the socio-anthropological impact it has had on our culture, language, and science. Star Trek is fiction that moves off the TV screen and into the communal psyche, influencing advances in technology (flip-out cell phones, automatic doors, talking computers), the creation of an artificial language (Klingon taught in universities), and the formation of fan tribes who emulate the cultures within the Star Trek universe.

Hemmingson also examines the socio-economic factors of Star Trek as the biggest consumer phenomenon in the entertainment market: die-hard fans spend a great deal of money to acquire the collectable items, from model ships, replica tri-corders, and first edition books. These fans also dress up as Star Trek characters, and live their lives more inside the fictional universe than reality.  Is this a good thing, at the end of the day?

Finally, Hemmingson also critiques the Federation’s narrow-minded gaze of utopia, where the galaxy revolves around San Francisco and humankind’s hegemony over other races, often—at the hands of Captain James T. Kirk—forcing alien societies and cultures to accept Federation dogma and earth-based morals. Kirk destroys the religions, social structure, computer gods, and cultural beliefs of many aliens and humanoids, all in the name of galactic democracy and the Federation’s desire for colonial expansion.

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