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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: 19 September 2021

The American Hello

The American Hello

Representations of U.S. Diplomacy in Star Trek: Discovery

(p.221) The American Hello
Fighting for the Future

Henrik Schillinger

Arne Sönnichsen


This chapter will discuss how Discovery either reproduces, criticizes, or subverts established U.S. representations of diplomacy. The results will provide some leads on whether Discovery lives up to Star Trek’s progressive worldview. Revisiting Iver B. Neumann’s argument, this chapter argues that Discovery’s pilot episode can be viewed as a critical reflection on how the difference between idealist (“We come in peace”) and realist (a “Vulcan Hello”) approaches to diplomacy become blurred from the inverted perspective of the (Klingon) Other. However, over the further course of the season, Discovery loses its reflexive perspective on the ambiguity of diplomacy and settles for demonstrative idealism. The chapter discusses whether Discovery in its adaptation of a demonstrative ‘idealism’ subverts U.S. representations of diplomacy in the light of paradigmatic shifts after 9/11, or whether it reproduces the ambiguity of ‘realist’/’idealist’ representations, ultimately legitimizing the use of force for supposed higher ends.

Keywords:   Star Trek, Star Trek Discovery, diplomacy, U.S. american, idealism, realism

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