Symposium Session – Before Star Trek

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Before Star Trek: Science Fiction on the Small Screen

Presented by Dr. Edward von Hegner

It’s often said that Star Trek was the first adult science fiction show on television, yet the small screen’s first decade or so spawned a surprising number of contenders for that title. Join a professional anthropologist who taught university courses in the anthropology of science fiction as we return to those thrilling days of yesteryear when a bright future was just around the corner.

Captain Video

This session is primarily a lecture with illustrations that encourages discussion. We start with a brief look at the conditions spawned by WWII that created the post-war market for science fiction aimed at kids with the appearance of Captain Video. We then survey the state of scifi with its ups and downs paying special attention to the programs that were ostensibly aimed at kids, but which had a quality that revealed that they were really aimed at the growing adult market.


Edward von HegnerDr. Edward von Hegner has been an aficionado of science fiction since he bought his first scifi anthology at the age of 10. Besides being a fan, as a member of the Anthropology department he has taught coursed on the anthropology of science fiction at both Binghamton University and Plymouth State University.


To learn more about other sessions, workshops, and special events please visit the International Steampunk Symposium Schedule . . . your invaluable guide to getting around the world in 48 hours!



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