July 21, 2020

The Lobed Elephant in the Room

It's the Ferengi episode we've been dreading. Eek! We're jumping into the decades-old controversy about antisemitism in Star Trek. Reb Alert guest Jonathan Branfman helps us trace the historic origins of pop culture depictions of Jews, and how these tropes intersect with both gender and Christonormativity. We look at the Ferengi's rocky start in season 1 of TNG and track their evolution through DS9, with an eye towards models of TV's "Jewish Mother" and "Nice Jewish Boy" tropes. Plus: Jewish masculinity, the Jewish labour movement and the problem of people who get too close to the camera in FaceTime.

HSHW: TNG The Last Outpost; DS9 Family Business; DS9 Bar Association; DS9 The Magnificent Ferengi.

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