Poster or Presentation Title

Masculinity within Starship Troopers

Location

Schewel 215

Access Type

Campus Access Only

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

4-4-2018 3:45 PM

Department

English

Abstract

My topic is a new consideration of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers through a

gender theory lens as well as examining the relation between gender and civic life through the

Epic mode form of literature. In the work, men have the political and military agency that

allows them to subjugate women and exclude them from civic life. Much as

in the genre of the epic, masculine violence and the fear of the “other” plays a key role in the

novel. In the novel such violence against aliens allows for the civic duty to be carried out and

women are notably absent from the process of waging war directly.The Starship Troopers universe is supposedly non-sexist as it is a theoretical fascist utopia, but women are marginalized.

The main character, Rico, has elements of the Fascist “New Man” which shows that his time on duty in the military was a transformative experience forged in the crucible of his wartime life. By giving this character a sense of agency, despite the fact he starts out as an ordinary boy has lingering ties of fascist thought in regards to the hero-worship of the common foot soldier.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Elizabeth Savage, Dr. Robin Bates, Dr. Brian Crim

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Apr 4th, 3:45 PM

Masculinity within Starship Troopers

Schewel 215

My topic is a new consideration of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers through a

gender theory lens as well as examining the relation between gender and civic life through the

Epic mode form of literature. In the work, men have the political and military agency that

allows them to subjugate women and exclude them from civic life. Much as

in the genre of the epic, masculine violence and the fear of the “other” plays a key role in the

novel. In the novel such violence against aliens allows for the civic duty to be carried out and

women are notably absent from the process of waging war directly.The Starship Troopers universe is supposedly non-sexist as it is a theoretical fascist utopia, but women are marginalized.

The main character, Rico, has elements of the Fascist “New Man” which shows that his time on duty in the military was a transformative experience forged in the crucible of his wartime life. By giving this character a sense of agency, despite the fact he starts out as an ordinary boy has lingering ties of fascist thought in regards to the hero-worship of the common foot soldier.