Star Trek Nation: Fan Letters As Social Practice. By Extrapolation

Star Trek Nation: Fan Letters As Social Practice.

By Extrapolation

  • Release Date: 2008-12-22
  • Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines

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Description

Star Trek Nation: Fan Letters as Social Practice. Lincoln Geraghty. Living with Star Trek: American Culture and the Star Trek Universe. London: LB. Tauris, 2007. 232 pp. $19.95 pbk. A principal lecturer in the School of Creative Arts, Film and Media at the University of Portsmouth, author Lincoln Geraghty has focused most of his research in the areas of American and British pop culture, science fiction, and fan texts. In Living with Star Trek, he examines the long-running, global media phenomenon launched by Gene Roddenberry in 1966 with the original series, Star Trek, through the dual lens of narrative mythology and fan letter-writing. He works within a framework of private versus public; he wants to examine how fans, in their private lives, use an open, polysemic television text that is accessible to millions. Geraghty notes that Trek fan studies have tended to divide their approach into a simple binary of "the conformist and the resistant" (9) and then analyze the latter (cult fans who write alternative fictions, dress up as Klingons, attend Star Trek conventions, etc.). However, he wishes to look at those "non-oppositional" (10) fans who write letters in which they share their personal stories of Trek-inspired "self-help and social betterment" (12) with a wider community, what he calls a "network of support" (8). It is these so-called "passive" (10) fans that the author asserts have been overlooked in previous studies.