“Trek Class”, the Star Trek course taught by Professor Rotolo, will be offered at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications for the first time this spring in the department of Television, Radio and Film. Exploring themes and cultural impact of Star Trek television series and films, Trek Class is often listed as a “must-take” course for students at Syracuse University.
TRF 530.1 Star Trek
Wednesday 5:15-8:00, Newhouse 1 101
Open to all Syracuse University juniors, seniors and graduate students
A Mission of Exploration
For nearly 50 years, Star Trek has been an enduring and iconic franchise, finding a place in popular culture with common phrases like “warp speed” and “beam me up”. Its bold predictions of a prosperous future for Humanity have inspired countless writers and directors in science fiction and other genres, as well as generations of students to pursue science and technology. The immense Star Trek fan base and continued success of the series, as well as its remarkable ability to predict future technologies and scenarios, make it the most significant science fiction franchise of all time.
For these same reasons, Trek Class captures the imaginations of students studying television and film, but also the sciences, information technology, philosophy and art. Like Star Trek itself, the course seeks answers to challenges of our time, examining them through the lens of the Final Frontier.
As the semester begins, students are asked to think critically about not only the 23rd and 24th centuries of Star Trek, but also what the franchise can tell us about our own world and the stories we will tell of the future. As Captain Picard once said, “We have no idea what the true facts about us will reveal,” and it is this revelation that begins our mission to discover the stories and characters of Star Trek, as well as the techniques used to create the franchise.
Where No College Class Has Gone Before
Trek Class has reached hundreds of students since its initial offering, including many who have never before experienced a Star Trek series or film. Thousands more have joined in the fun as Professor Rotolo’s signature use of social media in the classroom opens the real-time discussion to fans and followers at home. In 2011, CBS invited Professor Rotolo to contribute a regular series of articles for StarTrek.com which shares many of the themes and discussions from Trek Class with the broader Star Trek fan community.
Rotolo also presented a special session of Trek Class at the 2012 Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas before an audience of thousands. “I cannot tell you how many brilliant people at NASA and all over the world have told me they were inspired to follow their dreams by Star Trek,” Rotolo told the excited audience. “We must not forget the importance of this franchise. We need Star Trek back on television.”
Trek Class is open to all Syracuse University juniors, seniors and graduate students. The class is appropriate for fans and newcomers to Star Trek. Those who are not able to enroll may join in the fun using hashtag #TrekClass on Twitter.