Humanity in a Black Mirror

Essays on Posthuman Fantasies in a Technological Near Future

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About the Book

The presentation of technology as a response to human want or need is a defining aspect of Black Mirror, a series that centers the transhumanist conviction that ontological deficiency is a solvable problem. The articles in this collection continue Black Mirror‘s examination of the transhuman need for plentitude, addressing the convergence of fantasy, the posthuman, and the dramatization of fear. The contributors contend that Black Mirror reveals both the cracks of the posthuman self and the formation of anxiety within fantasy’s empty, yet necessary, economy of desire.
The strength of the series lies in its ability to disrupt the visibility of technology, no longer portraying it as a naturalized, unseen background, affecting our very being at the ontological level without many of us realizing it. This volume of essays argues that this negative lesson is Black Mirror’s most successful approach. It examines how Black Mirror demonstrates the Janus-like structure of fantasy, as well as how it teaches, unteaches, and reteaches us about desire in a technological world.

About the Author(s)

Jacob Blevins is professor and chair of English at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. He is the editor of the journal Intertexts and the author or editor of six books.

Zahi Zalloua is the Cushing Eells professor of philosophy and literature and a professor of French and interdisciplinary studies at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and editor of The Comparatist. He is the author or co-author of seven books.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Jacob Blevins and Zahi Zalloua
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8382-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4712-8
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“The speculative quality of the television series Black Mirror begs for a sustained theoretical analysis. Jacob Blevins and Zahi Zalloua have not only provided one but have produced a work that unlocks all the mysteries of the show and makes clear to everyone why they were interested in it in the first place. For anyone who has seen even one episode of Black Mirror, their book is simply required reading. It’s as if the series were invented just so that we could have this collection of remarkable interpretations that make clear the theoretical underpinnings of what we’ve seen.”—Todd McGowan, University of Vermont