Join us for a workshop by
Stefan “Steve” Rabitsch
(University of Graz/University of Warsaw)

“There be whales here!”: Star Trekkin’ White Leviathans round the Moons of Nibia with Captain Ahab

This event is a part of the Monsters ReVisited series organized by the Weird Fictions Research Group members and their invited guests.

Monday, May 24, 2021
at 5 p.m.

You can get 2 OZN points for participating in this event.


This is an online event. You must register by May 22, 2021 (Saturday) at to take part in this event. The ZOOM link will be sent to you via email after the registration.


The intermedial migration routes of Herman Melville’s magnum opus, Moby- Dick; or, The Whale (1851), are as vast and varied as those of his novel’s eponymous white leviathan. Melville’s inscrutable behemoth of a “sea monster” has migrated into the “ocean of space” that is the vast outer space world of a popular mega-text: Star Trek. Charting a course around how writers and producers have extracted the same few elements from the novel—i) the intermedial transpositioning of the character dynamic that governs Ahab’s interactions with Starbuck, ii) the philosophical discussion over whether the whale’s actions are driven by malicious intent or undiscerning instinct, and iii) Moby Dick’s signature whiteness—our voyage will reveal to what end Melville’s text has been adapted a total of six times in the Star Trek universe.


Stefan “Steve” Rabitsch currently serves a visiting professor in American Studies (ZIP programme) with the American Studies Center at the University of Warsaw and is an affiliated postdoctoral scholar with the Center for Inter-American Studies at the University of Graz. A self-declared “Academic Trekkie,” he is the author of Star Trek and the British Age of Sail (McFarland 2019), co-editor of Set Phasers to Teach! Star Trek in Research and Teaching (Springer 2018), and co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Star Trek. His professorial thesis project, i.e., his second book—“A Cowboy Needs A Hat”: A Cultural History of Cowboy Hats—not only received the 2019 Fulbright Visiting Scholar Grant in American Studies, which allowed him to work at the Center for the Study of the American West (West Texas A&M University), and the 2020/21 Henry Belin du Pont fellowship by the Hagley Museum and Library, but it has also been awarded a book contract from the University of Oklahoma Press.

This event is funded by the The University’s Integrated Development Programme (ZIP).

Year 2023/2024

December 1: Screening & Discussion with Co-directors of ‘CURED’ documentary

November 30, 2023

The American Studies Center and the U.S. Embassy Warsaw invite you to a special private screening of the award-winning documentary CURED, which highlights a pivotal but little-known moment in LGBTQ history when activists and psychiatrists rose up to challenge a formidable institution — and won!


Changes in Dr. Gajda-Łaszewska’s office hours schedule

November 30, 2023

Dr. Gajda-Łaszewska’s office hours will be cancelled on Thursday, December 7, 2023.

American Studies Colloquium Series

November 30: Conceptual Writing in Extremis: Sonic A(na)rchives in 21st-century North American Poetry

November 30, 2023

The lecture focuses on current developments in North American conceptual writing as a poetic mode invested in archival research. The common denominator of the archives that the poets selected for this study foreground are the forms of present-day extremity.

American Studies Colloquium Series

November 16: New Forms/Known Rivers

November 16, 2023

When #BlackLivesMatter emerged in 2013, it animated the most consequential Black-led mobilization since the civil rights and Black power era. Today, the hashtag turned rallying cry is but one expression of a radical reorientation toward Black politics, protest, and political thought.

Year 2023/2024

November 9: Scared Sick: Medicine and the Gothic Tradition

November 9, 2023

Join Weird Research Group for the second meeting of Weird Medicine Series! This talk will be grounded in the foundational Romantic period and will explain ways in which Gothic works reflected some of the most controversial medical pursuits, playing out their possibilities and dangers.