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Fighting for the FutureEssays on Star Trek: Discovery$
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Sabrina Mittermeier and Mareike Spychala

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621761

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621761.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

To Boldly Discuss

To Boldly Discuss

Socio-Political Discourses in Star Trek: Discovery Fanfiction

(p.165) To Boldly Discuss
Fighting for the Future

Kerstin-Anja Münderlein


In the canon, Star Trek: Discovery seamlessly joins the rank of its predecessors in questioning power and monoglossia. In the “fanon,” contemporary fan writers have done the same and continue the tradition of political fan fictions in Star Trek, as this chapter aims to show. While there certainly are many escapist stories with little, if any, political relevance, a significant part of the stories actively engages in contemporary debates and movements surrounding ethics and science, war trauma, and LGBTQ representation. To prove its claim, the chapter begins with a brief overview over the relevance of socio-political discourses in Star Trek Discovery. These discourses are then compared to political criticism and discussion in Discovery fan fiction. To make this viable, the chapter will analyse a sample of fan fictions published on the two main platforms fanfiction.net and archiveofourown.com. Ultimately, this chapter shows that the importance of socio-political debates is just as relevant in the Discovery “fanon” as in the Discovery canon. Certainly, Star Trek’s degree of political involvement has always been part of the franchise’s allure and Star Trek: Discovery continues this tradition well into the 21st century – and takes its fans with it to boldly discuss what many fans have discussed before.

Keywords:   Star Trek, Star Trek Discovery, Fan fiction, Fandom, Socio-political discourses, discourse, Fan studies, ethics and science, war trauma, LGBTQ representation

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