Posthuman Fantasies and Anxious Desires in Black Mirror

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Zahi Zalloua
contact email: 

Call For Essay Proposals


Posthuman Fantasies and Anxious Desires in Black Mirror

Edited by Jacob Blevins and Zahi Zalloua


The Netflix series Black Mirror offers a critical dramatization of the phantasmatic promises of transhumanism. Set in the near future, Black Mirror not only paints a pessimistic vision of our neoliberal lives as cyborgs—biological subjects wired into a technology integral to the construction and projection of self—but also foregrounds the persistence and problem of desire, exceeding the interpretive paradigm of transhumanism along with its investment in the willful subject of humanism. New technologies do not deliver us from our weaknesses; they do not limit our vulnerabilities, but intensify them. Indeed, new technologies induce anxiety, unsettling the desiring habits of subjects. What Black Mirror arguably solicits is a posthumanism supplemented by a psychoanalytic framework—where desire is understood as a desire for the other/Other (for the personal human other and for the anonymous figure of authority), where the object (and subject) of desire is constitutively doubled. Read as an allegory for our posthuman condition, Black Mirror stages desiring cyborgs not as immunized subjectivities (the dream of transhumanism), nor as post-subjectivities (the dream of some posthumanisms) but as subjectivities whose ontological otherness—their inherent inhuman excess—is put on full display.

Black Mirror powerfully exposes what we might describe as the blind spots of transhumanism. This volume seeks to explore those blind spots and their implications for posthuman subjectivity. The editors invite proposals for a new edited collection of essays. We specifically look for essays that engage how fantasy helps situate the limitations of desire within the technological enhancements of Black Mirror’s terrain. Although psychoanalysis provides a particularly apt discourse for understanding Black Mirror and its implications, the goal of the collection is to offer an interdisciplinary dialogue that addresses the various posthumanist implications of Black Mirror. Media studies, cultural theory, psychoanalysis, philosophy, and literary theory—all these approaches serve both to enlighten and to complicate the dilemmas within, and the fantasies of, humanism and posthumanism and the instability of our evolving cyborg subjectivity.


Initially, the editors ask that potential contributors send a detailed abstract along with a full CV by March 1, 2020. For accepted proposals, completed essays (approximately 7000 words) will be due on August 1, 2020. Please email material to the editors, Dr. Zahi Zalloua,, and Dr. Jacob Blevins, Decisions on proposals will be made by March 15th.