Exploring Star Trek: Voyager

Critical Essays


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About the Book

In 1995, Star Trek: Voyager brought a new dynamic to Star Trek’s familiar, starship oriented, show. Lost 70,000 light-years in space, Voyager and its crew faced an uncertain and changeable future, echoing anxieties felt in the United States at the time. These fifteen essays explore the context, characters, and themes of Star Trek: Voyager, as they relate to the culture and zeitgeist of the 1990s. Essays on gender show how the series both challenges and reinforces typical SF stereotypes through the characters of Captain Janeway, Kes and Seven of Nine, while essays on identity examine the show’s intersections with disability studies, race and multiracial identities, family dynamics, and emerging AI and humanity. Using the epic journey of Homer’s Odyssey as a starting point for the series, and ending with an examination of the impacts of inception at the birth of the internet age, this book shows the many ways in which Voyager negotiated different perspectives for what the future of the galaxy and the USA could be.

About the Author(s)

Robert L. Lively is a professor of English at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. His work has appeared in Rhetoric Review, Popular Culture Review, Tormented Space, Wormhole Weapons, and The Worlds of Farscape: Essays on the Groundbreaking Television Series.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Robert L. Lively

Foreword by Lincoln Geraghty

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 286
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7821-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3873-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Foreword (Lincoln Geraghty) 1
Introduction (Robert L. Lively) 5

Part I. Ties to The Past: Voyager and Our Literary Heritage
“Far from gay cities and the ways of men”: Exploring Wandering and Homecoming in The Odyssey and Star Trek: Voyager (Kwasu David Tembo )15
“From hell’s heart, I stab at thee”: Villain Typologies of the Delta Quadrant (Andrew Howe) 32
“Caught between worlds”: Religion and Star Trek: Voyager Camilo Peralta 49

Part II. Gendering the 24th Century: Problems, Solutions, Pathways
Where No Woman Has Gone Before: Kathryn Janeway Breaking the Glass Ceiling or Reinforcing Stereotypes? (Michelle M. Tabit) 67
Millennial Girlhood and the End of Kes (Peter W.Y. Lee) 82
“Tuvix” and Feminist Ethics in the Delta Quadrant (Jeffrey Boruszak) 98
“There’s a woman in there if you’d take the time to look!” Seven of Nine’s Problematic Feminism (Sarah Canfield) 112

Part III. Negotiating Identities in the Delta Quadrant
Disabling Resistance: Voyager and Federation Ideology (Daniel Preston and Craig A. Meyer) 133
B’Elanna Torres and the Hated Half: Negotiating Mixed-Race/Species Identity (Sherry Ginn) 149
Foreheads, Bad Attitudes and Mothers: Dismantling the Nuclear Family (Eileen Totter) 164
Please State the Nature of Your Humanity: The Doctor and the Quest to Find Personality in Technology (Ian Thomas Malone) 179
Disturbing Parallel: The Shifting Politics of Racial Inclusion and Exclusion in Star Trek: Voyager (Christian Jimenez) 194

Part IV. Broader Perspectives of the Future
The Politics of Nurturing: Gender, Care and Colonialism in Voyager’s Female Friendships (Rosy B. Mack) 213
Lost in Space Without an Idea of Home: The Triumph of Neoliberal Depoliticization in Star Trek: Voyager (Alex ­Burston-Chorowicz) 231
Confessions of an ­Anti-Fan: Voyager, Fandom and Dislike (Murray Leeder) 248

About the Contributors 265
Index 269

Book Reviews & Awards

• “A delightfully entertaining and informative collection…recommended”—Choice

• “Great reading for Star Trek fans”—PopCultureShelf.com

• “Offers strong examples of theoretical and critical scholarship which highlight Voyager and its importance within American studies.”—The Journal of American Culture

• “A welcome companion to previous critical volumes…provides readers with an up-to-date perspective on the series and our contemporary world”—Journal of Popular Film and Television