Star Trek and Disability

deadline for submissions: 
September 1, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Canadian Journal of Disability Studies
contact email: 

Call for Papers — Disability and Star Trek, Special Issue of CJDS


Proposal Deadline: September 1, 2024


Throughout its evolution, the Star Trek franchise has worked to tell stories about diversity on several levels, and a key element of several episodes has been disability. For example, from Captain Pike to Lieutenant Detmer, Star Trek offers many opportunities that provide for deeper discussions of disability. At the same time as Star Trek’s legacy has expanded, definitions and models of disability representation have continued to shift in new ways. Additionally, as disability theorist Dan Goodley (2017) suggests, theories have become multi-dimensional, and disabilities are now better understood to coexist alongside other markers of diversity (p. 44). Because both Star Trek and disability studies continue to shape how we think about the present as well as what we can imagine about the future, the Special Issue editors are seeking submissions for the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies (CJDS) that highlights the ways that disability influences, impacts, and operates within the Star Trek universe/franchise.


We are seeking submissions of previously unpublished articles on disabilities, with a focus on disability theory within the world(s) and storylines of the Star Trek franchise. We encourage articles from minoritized populations, including disabled authors. Please submit your abstracts of no more than 300 words to Special Issue Editors Daniel Preston ( and Craig A. Meyer ( by September 1, 2024, with the subject line, “CJDS Star Trek Special Issue.” In the abstract, please include name, affiliation (if applicable), and contact information.


Possible topics include (but are not limited to):


● Disabled identity formation


● Technology and identity


● Disability as it relates to specific episodes or storylines


● Disability as an intersection - how do race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. interact with


experiences of disability?


● Quality of life and disability


● Madness, mental health, or neurodiversity


● Disability and Community


● Access and accommodation in Trek


● The meaning of disability in the franchise / alternate universes or timelines.


● Loss / gain related to disability in Trek.


For those accepted for consideration, the deadline for full paper submission will be March 1, 2025 for preliminary review. Final submissions should follow CJDS guidelines available at the following links: About CJDS for Scope and Style Guidelines and the Submission Checklist.


Proposed Timeline:


● Abstract (~300 words) -- September 1, 2024


● Author Notifications -- October 1, 2024


● Full Drafts Due (no more than 6,000 words excluding references, tables, etc.) -- March 1,




For CJDS format and guideline questions, please contact Jay Dolmage (Editor) at


Special Issue Editors:


Daniel Preston, PhD is an Education Specialist in the Writing and Research Center at Hudson Valley Community College (SUNY). He has taught literature and writing courses at colleges and universities throughout New York State, and his primary research interest combines disability studies, popular culture, and writing.


Craig A. Meyer, PhD, is an Associate Professor of English and Director of the Writing Program at Jackson State University. His research focuses on rhetoric, first-year writing, academic and creative writing, artificial intelligence, disability studies, popular culture, and social justice.


As a team, Preston and Meyer have published several book chapters that highlight the presence of disability within Star Trek and continue to find new ways to engage themselves with this complex and unique franchise.


● Goodley, D. (2017). Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction. (2nd ed). Sage.