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Explore the impact and influence of Star Trek on today's society

XSeries Program in
Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology
SmithsonianX

What you will learn

  • Learn why we should study Star Trek as a lens for media scholars to analyze the history of television, the impact of science fiction on technology, and the phenomenon of fandom
  • Explore how Star Trek depicted a future where humans were explorers of the universe - serving as an inspiration to individuals and government agencies deeply involved in the race to get human beings into space for the first time
  • Understand how Star Trek's diverse crew prompted audiences to reconsider their own perceptions of different races and genders
  • Reflect on how Star Trek depicted various characters working to understand themselves and their place in the universe
  • Recognize how Star Trek inspires reflection on our own humanity and our place in the universe

Why has Star Trek, which began as a failed network series, become so influential? Instead of fading away, the Star Trek universe now encompasses feature films, additional television series, and a universe of fan conventions and memorabilia.

What about the shows and movies resonate with so many people? The powerful vision of futuristic space exploration drew on real history and contemporary issues to enhance its storytelling. Star Trek inspired audiences to ask fundamental questions about who they are and how they relate to the world around them.

When you enroll in this course, you will examine how Star Trek’s live action television shows and motion pictures affected audiences around the world. With your hosts, Margaret Weitekamp and Scott Mantz, you will discover the connections between Star Trek and history, culture, technology and society. You will hear from experts, watch clips from the shows and films, debate with fellow fans. and explore your own perspectives on and understanding of Star Trek's lasting impact.

Through critical analysis and object exploration, you will examine how Star Trek tackled controversial topics, such as race, gender, sexuality, and ethics. Then, the mission is yours. Join the community to engage in civil discourse. Use evidence to understand how Star Trek shaped and still influences our technology and society.

* This course is offered under license by CBS Consumer Products.

Expert instruction
3 high-quality courses
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
5 months
1 - 3 hours per week
$108
$120USD
For the full program experience

Courses in this program

  1. SmithsonianX's Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology XSeries

  2. 1–3 hours per week, for 7 weeks

    Explore the impact and influence of Star Trek on today's society and technology.

  3. 1–3 hours per week, for 6 weeks

    Explorehow Star Trek' sdiverse crew prompted audiences to reconsider their own perceptions of different races and genders as well as their own place in the universe.

  4. 1–3 hours per week, for 5 weeks

    Explorehow Star Trek inspires reflection on our own history, humanity, and place in the universe.

Meet your instructors

from The Smithsonian Institution (SmithsonianX)
Margaret Weitekamp
Curator, National Air and Space Museum
The Smithsonian Institution
Scott Mantz
Film Critic, Producer
The Smithsonian Institution

Experts from SmithsonianX committed to teaching online learning

Enrolling Now

$108
$120USD
3 courses in 5 months
Pursue the Program

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