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 2022/2023

December 6: Witches in American Popular Music: Introduction + Discussion

November 23, 2022

Rebellious and powerful, witches penetrate the social spaces and popular culture. In her introduction, Joanna Kaniewska will map the presence of witches in American music. Later, she will invite all the participants to discuss the “music witches,” their common traits and associations.

Year 2022/2023

ASC Thanksgiving Dinner

November 18, 2022

We’re happy to invite all students, faculty and staff to join our traditional Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner!

American Studies Colloquium Series

November 17: Imagining Sex Between White Men: Slash Fan Fiction and the Racial Politics of Feminist Fantasy

November 10, 2022

In this talk, Alexis Lothian discusses slash fan fiction by examining the ways that dynamics of racialization can be critically engaged on and through the bodies of white male protagonists, and whether a speculative erotics of white masculinity might have something to contribute to a feminism committed to antiracist politics.


The ASC’s New Americanist will be published with Edinburgh University Press

October 28, 2022

Starting from Spring 2023, the ASC’s New Americanist will be published with Edinburgh University Press in cooperation with the University of Warsaw.

American Studies Colloquium Series

October 27: The Shapes of Apocalyptic Time: Decolonising Eco-Eschatology

October 20, 2022

On the contrary to contemporary ecological discourses, rooted in linear temporality derived from Christian eschatology, this presentation offers to see eco-eschatological time as a spiral and as a non-contemporaneous totality, which can help us devise more accurate strategy for decolonial environmental politics.