Cover for ROBERTS: Sexual Generations: Star Trek: The Next Generation and Gender

Sexual Generations

"Star Trek: The Next Generation" and Gender

Finding feminism on the final frontier

Boldly going where no one has gone before, Robin Roberts forges intriguing links between feminist politics and theory and the second Star Trek series, Star Trek: The Next Generation. This lively discussion shows how science fiction's ability to make the familiar strange allows Star Trek to expose and comment on entrenched attitudes toward gender roles and feminist issues. By having aliens or sexually neutral beings enact female dominance or passivity, experience pregnancy or maternity, or suffer rape or abortion, Star Trek provides viewers with a new perspective on these experiences and an antidote to explicit and implicit cultural biases. Roberts maintains that the relevance of Star Trek: The Next Generation to feminist issues accounts as no other factor can for the program's huge following of female fans.

The incisive and innovative readings in Sexual Generations provide food for thought about how the final frontier can clarify pressing questions of our own space and time.

"Roberts is arguing for a truly 'high art,' forged out of gender theory and the highly popular Trek episodes. But it is not only high art she is talking about; it is the cultural history of our century."—Donald M. Hassler, editor of Extrapolation: The Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Studies

"A new and worthwhile addition. . . . The issues raised in this book, and on the show itself, are certainly valid and offer a rich field for discussion."--Science Fiction Research Association

"Roberts has put together a thorough, rigorous, and insightful analysis of gender in The Next Generation, covering both the elements that imagine a different space-time and the contradictions that derive from contemporary sociopolitical norms. . . . An ideal book to use in courses that address contemporary television, science fiction, media feminism, and, of course, Star Trek." -- Daniel Bernardi, Science Fiction Studies

Robin Roberts is a professor of English at the University of Arkansas. She is the author of Anne McCaffrey: A Life with Dragons and A New Species: Gender and Science in Science Fiction.

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