Collins Living Learning Center | The Folklore of Star Trek
L220 | 16029 | Steve Stanzak


How different would a people from another planet actually be? Would they be completely
foreign to our understanding, or would we share some common experiences? This course
attempts to answer these questions and more by looking at the popular television show Star
Trek. However, just as the show is more about the hopes, fears, and beliefs of twentieth-
century culture than it is about the aliens and space travel, so this course is more about how
to understand, interact with, and appreciate the diverse range of cultures on Earth. We will
look closely at issues of ethics and social justice raised by the show, moving to cultural
constructs such as identity, gender, language, and worldview, and ending with a consideration
of Star Trek fandom. We will watch one episode each week, and the course culminates with a
final project. No prior knowledge of either folklore or Star Trek is assumed, just an openness
to new cultures, both here on Earth and beyond.