Syracuse Prof’s Star Trek Class Goes Global

I love when seminal works of fiction, fantasy and science fiction are given their proper due. Previously available only for enrolled Syracuse University students, professor Anthony Rotolo will now offer a free and open “Star Trek” class to the public, independent from the university.

Anthony Rotolo speaking about Star Trek at NASA According to Rotolo’s syllabus, #TrekClass will explore the impact of “Star Trek” on popular culture, space exploration, scientific discovery and technology innovation.

Students will:

  • Discover the history and evolution of “Star Trek” from its origins on television to the present day film franchise.
  • Learn about Gene Roddenberry, creator and auteur of “Star Trek,” and his philosophical vision that remains central to the franchise and its fandom.
  • Discuss concepts of science facts and fiction seen in “Star Trek,” including its record of imagining and inspiring modern technologies from the mobile phone to the iPad.
  • Examine the “Star Trek” tradition of using sci-fi storytelling to explore challenging issues of society and culture, from race and gender to global politics and warfare.
  • Explore the global fandom which supported and contributed to the franchise since its earliest days, from conventions to fan-made films.

I last tried to take a class on “The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact On Pop Culture” but real life intervened and I wasn’t able to keep up with the course.1 So this could be interesting, or… not. Hard to say. When it’s a lot easier to be aware of how Star Trek has predicted and influenced technology but hasn’t seemed to have all that great an effect on our culture, the class could just be little more than a Star Trek fan appreciation society. Then again, you never know! Might just be plain ol’ fun. :mrgreen:

1 Turns out my attention at the time was better suited taking coding classes than those on comics. D’oh…

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