Essay Collection: Reading Black Mirror

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Alex Goody & Antonia Mackay (Oxford Brookes University UK)
contact email: 

Reading Black Mirror – Edited Collection

 

 

The series Black Mirror, first aired on the UK Channel 4 in 2011, has achieved an international standing for its reinvention of speculative anthology television and continues to innovate in the form: the interactive feature-length Bandersnatch (2018) offered viewers a branching, ergodic narrative, multiple endings and the opportunity to experience a type of cyborg textuality through the TV format. Considering the different ways in which technology is reconfiguring physical, personal, social and political experiences in the twenty-first century, the different seasons and episodes of Black Mirror have touched on the fears, as well as some of the utopian hopes, of twenty-first century humans. Imagining the possible implications of our techno-ecology, this TV show offers a critical perspective on the entanglement of humans and machines. The implications of Black Mirror continue to resonate, with early episodes such as ‘The Waldo Moment’ (2013) both reaching back to the golden years of science fiction (and Robert A Heilein’s 1942 story “Waldo”) and appearing remarkably prescient of Western politics in 2020, whilst more recent episodes (“Striking Vipers” 2019) have explored the place of race and sexuality in gaming and virtual worlds. As an innovative TV series, aware of its own influences and potential legacies, Black Mirror offers a productive site for investigating contemporary questions that cross disciplinary boundaries. This project builds on the success of our recent edited collection Reading Westworld (2019)  https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783030145149 and we are looking for similarly interdisciplinary and innovative work that explores topics and thematics across Black Mirror. We are interested in chapters that consider any of the following, and/or offer new ways of reading Black Mirror:

 

Cyborgs and robots

AI and the future of the human

Posthumanism

Bodies and somatechnics

Sex, sexuality, gender and queer identities

Black Mirror and SF genres

Surveillance and power

Multimodal narratives, hypertext and interactivity

Celebrity and technology

Social media

Virtual reality and immersive technology

Technology, ethics and crime

Cyberculture and cyberspace

Video gaming

Memory and nostalgia

Black Mirror and pedagogy – teaching Black Mirror

Politics and globalisation

Intertextuality

Black Mirror and gothic

Utopia and Dystopia

Black Mirror and theory

Spatial and temporal readings

 

Researchers at all stages and types of institutional or non-institutional status are welcomed. Abstracts of 300 words and a short biography should be submitted to Alex Goody and Antonia Mackay at readingblackmirror@gmail.com  by 31 January, 2020.