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Black Mirror and Critical Media Theory


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Table of Contents

Introduction Section 1: Human Identity Chapter 1: Race, Cyborgs, and the Pitfalls of Biopolitical Discourse in Black Mirror's "Men Against Fire" Diana Leon-Boys and Morten Stinus Kristensen Chapter 2: Digitally Natural: Gender and Sexuality Norms in Black Mirror Angela M. Cirucci Chapter 3: A Virtual Ever-After: Utopia, Race, and Gender in Black Mirror's "San Junipero" Eleanor Drage Section 2: Surveillance Culture Chapter 4: Black Mirror's "Nosedive" as a new Panopticon: Interveillance and Digital Parrhesia in Alternative Realities Francois Allard-Huver and Julie Escurignan Chapter 5: All Eyes on Me: Surveillance and the Digital Archive in "The Entire History of You" Derek R. Blackwell Chapter 6: Seeing the "Surveillant Face" of Technology in Black Mirror: Using Futuristic Scenarios for an Interdisciplinary Discussion on the Feasibility and Implications of Technology Pinelopi Troullinou and Mathieu d'Aquin Section 3: The Spectacle and Hyperreality Chapter 7: Waldo Wins IRL: Donald Trump, Black Mirror, and the Politics of Jean Baudrillard's Hyperreal Michael Mario Albrecht Chapter 8: Why Black Mirror is Really Written by Jean Baudrillard: A Philosophical Interpretation of Charlie Brooker's Series Manel Jimenez-Morales and Marta Lopera-Marmol Chapter 9: Spectacular Tech-Nightmare: Broadcasting Guy Debord Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns Section 4: Aesthetics Chapter 10: Rhetorical Ethics in Black Mirror: The Aesthetics of Existence in Hyperreality and Posthumanity Hillary A. Jones Chapter 11: The Hysterical Sublime: Black Mirror, "Playtest," and the Crises of the Present Matthew Flisfeder Chapter 12: Black Mirror, White Spaces: Nihilism, Enlightenment, and Technology Barry Vacker and Erin Espelie Section 5: Technology and Existence Chapter 13: Over-Extended Media: Hashtag Hatred and Domestic Drones Julia M. Hildebrand Chapter 14: Unbearable Burden: Discipline, Punishment, and Moral Dystopia in Black Mirror's "White Bear" Osei Alleyne Chapter 15: The Entire Evolution of Media: A Media Ecological Approach to Black Mirror Carlos A. Scolari Section 6: Dystopian Futures Chapter 16: Heterotopias and Utopias in Black Mirror: Michel Foucault on "San Junipero" Sarah J. Constant Chapter 17: Trapped in Dystopian Techno Realities: Nosediving into Simulation through Consumptive Viewing Erika M. Thomas and Romin Rajan Chapter 18: The Dystopia of the Spectator: Past Revival and Acceleration of Time in Black Mirror ("The Entire History of You" and "Be Right Back") Macarena Urzua Opazo and Antoine Faure Conclusion: Connecting Our Themes to Season Four and the Future Index About the Editors About the Contributors

About the Author

Angela M. Cirucci is assistant professor of media studies at Kutztown University. Barry Vacker is associate professor in the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University.


Black Mirror is a television program made to think with and, even to the casual viewer, it feels as though the stories plumb unseen depths at the intersection of human nature and the cutting edge of technology. Coming to grips with the deep currents of the show is difficult for the solo viewer, but Black Mirror and Critical Media Theory provides a set of maps for exploring this media text. Reading the collection is a bit like watching the show with a group of fans who share an interest in the structure of human culture. And like the show itself, each chapter stands well on its own but together they support a strong collection of thematic analyses that pull on the threads of ideas that run through each of the seasons of Black Mirror. Whether read by an interested fan or in the context of a course, there is something for every reader within this collection. -- Alexander Halavais, Arizona State University
Nowhere in contemporary popular culture is the near future more scary or visceral or than Charlie Brooker's dystopian series Black Mirror, and nowhere has that vision been more widely scrutinised than the wide-ranging and razor-sharp chapters in Cirucci and Vacker's collection. From the excesses of social media consumption to the panopticon of pervasive surveillance, Black Mirror and Critical Media Theory combines offers a range of theoretical lenses to understand and frame the immanent and pressing questions that Black Mirror so disturbingly raises. -- Tama Leaver, Curtin University

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