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Ethics of the Final Frontier

Space: The Final Frontier. This concept has been integral to America’s self-identity, symbolizing exploration and adventure—and the myriad issues arising from the perception of “undiscovered country” as land untouched by white man. Professor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell joins Paul and me to discuss the significance of the frontier and how Star Trek has interacted with this theme throughout its many iterations.

We encountered some sound quality issues in this episode for which we apologize. We are committed to continuous improvement and aim to enhance the listening experience with each episode.

Matthew Wilhelm Kapell boasts a diverse teaching portfolio, ranging from human genetics to film studies across institutions in California, Michigan, the UK, and currently at Pace University in New York City. He is the editor of an academic book series focusing on the study of digital and tabletop games. For more information on his publications and work, visit His academic approach is mindful of the perspective that many narratives framed as “Hero’s Journeys” are equally “Heroine’s Ordeals.”

Riki Hayashi and Matthew Fox explore the ethical questions from the stories geeks love—superheroes, sci-fi, anime, fantasy, video games, and so much more.
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