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Star Trek's mirror universe episodes and US military culture through the eyes of the other

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Abstract

Across the vast Star Trek franchise, a small number of television episodes have used the device of the alternative universe, or "mirror universe," to comment specifically on war and the military. In contrast to the general political stance of the franchise, these episodes provide an embedded dystopian counter-narrative, legitimized by playful diametric reversal, which replaces the benign vision of peaceful exploration and co-existence with one of ruthless imperialist aggression. Conscious of their transgressive impact, these episodes encourage readings against the grain, yet contain such readings by re-absorbing them into the larger discursive paradigm of American military power.

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... A broad perspective on diplomacy has been applied to Star Trek as 'America in space' (Buzan, 2010) before -including studies of the frontier myth in Star Trek (Kapell, 2016), the show's liberalist underpinnings (Weldes, 1999), and its implicit colonialism (Inayatullah, 2003), interventionism (Lagon, 2011), and militarism (Hantke, 2014). Most explicitly, however, Neumann has analyzed diplomacy in Star Trek -drawing on, explicitly and implicitly, Der Derian's understanding of diplomacy (Neumann, 2001(Neumann, , 2003 According to Neumann, Star Trek reproduces two major U.S. representations of diplomacy that, combined, shape U.S. foreign policy. ...
Chapter
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