Edited collection on Black Mirror. (Deadline for abstracts/proposals January 31st 2018)

Dr Terence McSweeney, Southampton Solent University
Dr Stuart Joy, Southampton Solent University
contact emails: 

Very few television shows have been as intimately connected to the fears and anxieties of the global age as Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror (Channel 4, 2011-14, Netflix, 2014-) A variety of directors and writers have taken aim at what Brooker described as ‘the side effects’ of contemporary culture in the course of the nineteen episodes across four seasons. Brooker wrote, ‘If technology is a drug – and it does feel like a drug – then what, precisely, are the side effects? This area – between delight and discomfort – is where Black Mirror, my new drama series, is set. The ‘black mirror’ of the title is the one you’ll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone.’
The editors of this timely volume seek to put together a collection of dynamic and vibrant essays on the phenomenon of Black Mirror for publication which is currently entitled Through the Black Mirror: Reflections on ‘the Side Effects’ of the Digital Age and invite proposals for essays of approximately 5000 words, each of which will focus on ONE of the nineteen individual episodes broadcast through the four seasons.

We would also like to welcome proposals from scholars from a range of disciplines from American studies to video game theorists and which contain abstracts for more than one essay/episode. This would enable the editors a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to putting together the final structure of the project.
We are particularly interested in proposals which explore the more America-centric narratives of the two most recent seasons and depart quite considerably from the much more British focus of the earlier episodes.
PLEASE NOTE that certain episodes are likely to be more popular than others, for example “The Entire History of You” (Brian Welsh, 2011) and “San Junipero” (Owen Harris, 2016).

The volume is edited by Terence McSweeney author of The ‘War on Terror’ and American Film: 9/11 Frames Per Second(EUP, 2014), Avengers Assemble! Critical Perspectives on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Wallflower, forthcoming, 2018) and editor of “In the Shadow of 9/11”: American Cinema in the ‘War on Terror’ Era (EUP, 2016) and Stuart Joy co-editor of The Cinema of Christopher Nolan: Imagining the Impossible (Wallflower, 2015).

A number of publishers have already indicated an interest in the volume but a final decision by the editors will be made when the structure of the collection is finalised in early 2018.

The deadline for proposals will be 31st January 2018 and completed essays due on or before 1st September 2018.

Queries are welcome should there be questions about appropriate submission topics, perspectives and dates. Please note that invitation to submit a full essay does not guarantee inclusion in the volume.

The volume will be structured as follows:

 Introduction by Terence McSweeney and Stuart Joy

Chapter 1 “The National Anthem” (Otto Bathurst, 2011)
Chapter 2 “Fifteen Million Merits” (Euros Lyn, 2011)
Chapter 3 “The Entire History of You” (Brian Welsh, 2011)

Chapter 4 “Be Right Back” (Owen Harris, 2013)
Chapter 5 “White Bear” (Carl Tibbets, 2013)
Chapter 6 “The Waldo Moment” (Bryn Higgins, 2013)
Chapter 7 “White Christmas” (Carl Tibbets, 2014)

Chapter 8 “Nosedive” (Joe Wright, 2016)
Chapter 9 “Playtest” (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)
Chapter 10 “Shut Up and Dance” (James Watkins, 2016)
Chapter 11 “San Junipero” (Owen Harris, 2016)
Chapter 12 “Men Against Fire” (Jakob Verbruggen, 2016)
Chapter 13 “Hated in the Nation” (James Hawes, 2016)


Chapter 14 “Arkangel” (Jodie Foster, 2017)
Chapter 15 “USS Callister” (Toby Haynes, 2017)
Chapter 16 “Crocodile” (John Hillcoat, 2017)
Chapter 17 “Hang the DJ” (Tim Van Patten, 2017)
Chapter 18 “Metalhead” (David Slade, 2017)
Chapter 19 “Black Museum” (Colm McCarthy, 2017)