Brannon Braga: Out Of This World

January 30, 2013, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

The Center for Religion and Civic Culture's Interdisciplinary Research Group,
USC Office of Religious Life, USC School of Religion,
USC Archaeology,
USC School of Cinematic Arts, and USC Spectrum present

Brannon Braga: Out Of This World

The writer, director, producer of hundreds of Star Trek classics and numerous other creative shows on TV, including the new Cosmos, which Carl Sagan premiered years ago, will come to USC to talk about how he creates narratives in popular formats about topics as fascinating and diverse as thinking into the past about origins, knowing things about the future and living into it, communication with non-human entities that we often reflect on as having attributes of the divine, communication beyond the final frontier, and much more.

This promises to be an exciting and *not at all typical* conversation with someone who has been successful by any Hollywood standard and remains thought-provoking.

Hosted by CRCC IRG Co-Directors Lisa Bitel and Lynn Dodd, with an introduction by Diane Winston, Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Moderated by Gavin Scott.

7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


For more information, visit, or call 213-740-8562.

About Brannon Braga

Emmy-nominated Brannon Braga is currently an Executive Producer on FOX’s re-launch of “COSMOS,” the iconic 1980 television miniseries from Carl Sagan. Most recently he served as Executive Producer and writer on FOX’s “Terra Nova” along with Steven Spielberg. Prior to that, Braga was an Executive Producer and writer on the award-winning drama series “24.” In addition to his “24” duties that season, Braga created “Flashforward” and served as an Executive Producer on the series. Braga previously worked as writer and Executive Producer on the sci-fi drama series “Threshold.”

Braga was a key creative force in one of the most enduring and well-known science-fiction franchises as a creator, writer and Executive Producer of more than 300 episodes of the “Star Trek” series. For over 13 years collectively, he worked on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Enterprise.” His film credits include “Mission: Impossible II,” “Star Trek: Generations” and “Star Trek: First Contact.” In 1990, Braga received the prestigious Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Internship, which led to his involvement with “Star Trek.” He attended UC SANTA CRUZ.


About Gavin Scott

Gavin Scott is a former BBC journalist, novelist and screenwriter; his scripts for film and television have been produced by Working Title's Tim Bevan, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, (including "Small Soldiers", "The Borrowers" and "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles"); he has adapted classics like "War and Peace" and "Mists of Avalon" and created the first TV series shot in HD, "The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne". Later this year Monty Python's Terry Jones is directing  the script he wrote with Gavin, "Absolutely Anything". His novels include "Hot Pursuit", "A Flight of Lies", and 'The Adventures of Toby Wey".

About Diane Winston

Diane Winston holds the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California. A national authority on religion and the media as both a journalist and a scholar, her expertise includes religion, politics and the news media as well as religion and the entertainment media. Professor Winston's current research interests are media coverage of Islam, religion and new media, and the place of religion in American identity.

At the University of Southern California, Professor Winston teaches courses that examine religion as it relates to journalism, visual media, American history and foreign policy. Her class on international religion reporting has taken students to cover conflict and coexistence in Israel and Palestine, and their subsequent work has appeared in outlets including the Washington Post, the Jerusalem Post and Huffington Post. “Hollywood, Faith and Media,” her class on spirituality and ethics on television dramas, has hosted writer/directors such as David Shore (“House”), Nancy Franklin (“Saving Grace”) and Ron Moore (“Battlestar Galactica”). The guest lectures are available on YouTube. Professor Winston also has hosted conferences on post-9/11 television and the war on terror, religion and electoral politics, and Islam and the news media.

Professor Winston’s current research in on religion and the news media. She is finishing two books, The Oxford Handbook on Religion and the American News Media (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Heartland Religion: The American News Media and the Reagan Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2013). The Oxford Handbook is an edited volume with sections on world religions, religion and hot-button social issues, the history of religion and the news in the United States, and the religious press. Professor Winston wrote the book’s introduction and a chapter exploring coverage of religion and sexuality in early reporting on AIDS in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Dallas Morning News. Heartland Religion revisits the 1970s and 1980s to explore how the news media contributed to the conservative ideological shift known as the Reagan Revolution.

Between 1983 and 1995, Professor Winston covered religion at the Raleigh News and Observer, the Dallas Times Herald and the Baltimore Sun and contributed regularly to the Dallas Morning News. She has won numerous press association awards and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her work in Raleigh, Dallas and Baltimore. Her articles also have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and the Chronicle of Higher Education among other publications. Winston’s blogging about religion and media can also be found on her Web site,

In 1996, Winston received a Ph.D. from Princeton University. She also holds Master’s degrees from Harvard Divinity School and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her work in American religion has explored evangelicalism, gender, consumer culture and urbanization. Her published books are Red Hot and Righteous: The Urban Religion of the Salvation Army (Harvard, 1999), Faith in the Market: Religion and Urban Commercial Culture (Rutgers, 2003) and Small Screen, Picture: Lived Religion and Television (Baylor, 2009).

About the CRCC Interdisciplinary Research Group

The CRCC Interdisciplinary Research Group is led by a committee of scholars from diverse academic disciplines who work to advance the investigation of religions and religion-related topics at USC. With funding support from the Dean of the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Science, we

  • fund Research Fellowships for faculty and doctoral students
  • organize interdisciplinary Annual Research Seminars on issues related to religions
  • host a public Annual Lecture by a distinguished visiting speaker
  • support informal working groups of USC scholars who collaborate on research, publications, and external grants
  • sponsor lectures, workshops, conferences, and other events aimed at educating the USC community and the larger world about the operations of religions around the globe and across time.

For more information, contact Lisa Bitel

Check-In & Reservations

This event is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $10.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Lynn Dodd
Phone: 213-740-8562