CFP: Special Issue of Supernatural Studies on Black Mirror

I’m guest-editing a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Supernatural Studies; the fall/winter issue will be devoted to the series Black Mirror. 

The CFP is below, and more information about the journal is here (a new site for the journal is in the works, and the Black Mirror issue will be open access). Thanks so much to Leah Richards, John Ziegler, and the editorial board for their feedback and this opportunity.

Call For Papers: Fall/Winter 2017 Special Issue of Supernatural Studies

Black Mirror: Supernatural as Near-Future Technology

Guest editor Bethany Holmstrom, Assistant Professor of English, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY

The anthology series Black Mirror offers up various worlds, visions, and fantasies for the future of technology. Donna Haraway’s recent reflections on the speculative might provide a “way in” to thinking about the series; she engages with the many meanings of SF, “string figures…speculative fabulation, science fiction, science fact, speculative feminism, so far.” For her, “SF is storytelling and fact telling; it is the patterning of possible worlds and possible times, material-semiotic worlds, gone, here, and yet to come” (35-6). The many “strings” and strands of speculation presented in episodes of Black Mirror are often haunting, in both their (near-) immediacy and potential. This special issue of Supernatural Studies seeks essays exploring the multitude of issues and themes presented in the show; papers might include threads within/between several episodes, or might focus on a single episode.

Papers might touch upon any of the following:

  • Trans- and post-humanism, the nonhuman, Artificial Intelligence, the cyborg, human vs. machine
  • Virtual reality, hyperreality
  • The anthropocene and/or capitalocene
  • Ecocriticism, climate change
  • Capitalism, Marxist readings, the culture industry, labor
  • Identity
  • Othering
  • Feminism, the gaze, gender trouble(s)
  • Memory, uploading, consciousness, memory blunting, trauma
  • Spectacle, spectacles of violence and war
  • Criminal justice, punishment, determinism
  • Vigilantism, policing
  • Performance, celebrity
  • Privacy, private vs public, surveillance, social media
  • Post-apocalyptic & dystopian themes
  • SFF and supernatural genre studies, media studies

Submissions should be 5,000 to 8,000 words, including notes but excluding Works Cited, and follow the MLA Handbook, 8th ed. (2016); notes should be indicated by superscript Arabic numerals in text and pasted at the end of the article. International submissions should adhere to the conventions of U.S. English spelling, usage, and punctuation. Manuscripts should contain no identifying information, and each submission will undergo blind peer review by at least two readers. Contributors are responsible for obtaining any necessary permissions and ensuring observance of copyright. Submissions should be emailed to as an attached Microsoft Word file. The deadline for guaranteed consideration for the Fall/Winter 2017 issue is 15 July 2017.


Haraway, Donna. “Staying With the Trouble: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chuthulucene.” Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism, edited by Jason W. Moore, PM Press, 2016, pp. 34-76.

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