30 October 2019 – 22 December 2019
The course explores the mythologies of the future in the age of digital identities, posthumanism and the rise of artificial intelligence. Episodes from the Black Mirror TV series are taken as a starting point and as fictional or semi fictional examples of interpretation. The famous series tackles key issues of contemporary society shaped by the rise of new technologies, media and extensions of man. The main topics dealt by the course revolve around the problems of anthropotechincs, biopolitics and posthumanism. Focusing on different, mostly dystopian anxieties of the contemporary Western world, the course also tries to track the possible social and political consequences of the new techniques of producing, breeding and controlling people (anthropotechnics).
Some of the key authors discussed in the course include: Michel Foucault, Jean Baudrillard, Guy Debord, Marshall McLuhan, Ray Kurzweil, Peter Sloterdijk.
1. The roots of Black Mirror: Television culture and the angst of an epoch. The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror. The end of postmodernity.
2. Anthropotechnics: the making of man. Ideology versus technology.
3. The metaphor of Black Mirror. Imagining identity: the self from the screen.
4. The society of the spectacle. Postpolitics in the digital culture of screens and mobile gadgets.
5. Glimpses of postsociety: survival strategies in the age of narcissism.
6. Surveillance culture and (post)privacy.
7. Mediated reason: hyperreality and simulation.
8. Technology and the human condition.
9. Artificial intelligence and memory. The posthuman extensions of man.
10. Biopolitics and the society of control.
11. Mythologies of the future: between dystopia, utopia and retrotopia. The future as a past.
12. In the age of porn enlightenment.
Lecturer (short bio):
Todor Todorov is a Bulgarian philosopher and fiction writer. He is a doctor of philosophy and associate professor at the Department of Philosophy, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. His main fields of study include: History of Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Media and Politics, Media Critique, Ideology and Contemporary Mechanisms of Control. He is currently a lecturer at the Philosophy Department, the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Department of Cultural Studies at Sofia University.
01. The roots of Black Mirror: Television culture and the angst of an epoch. The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror. The end of postmodernity. Stories and Series. Technology and anthropotechnics: Marx, Heidegger, Sloterdijk, Kurzweil.
02. “Fifteen Million Merits”: Society of the spectacle, capitalist realism
03.”The Waldo Moment”: Postpolitics, society of the spectacle, artificial intelligence
04. “Nosedive”, “Arkangel”: Imaginary identities, simulation, society of control, surveillance and (post)privacy, survival strategies in the age of narcissism
05. “San Junipero”, “The Entire History of You”: Artificial intelligence and memory, the posthuman extensions of man, hyperreality and simulation, technology and the human condition.
06. “Men Against Fire”: Biopolitics, racism, anthropotechnics, technology and ideology.
07. Mythologies of the future: between dystopia, utopia and retrotopia. The future as a past. In the age of porn enlightenment. Presentations and some concluding remarks.
• Peter Sloterdijk, You Must Change Your Life: On Anthropotechnics, trans. Wieland
Hoban, Polity 2012
• Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulations, in: Jean Baudrillard, Selected
Writings, ed. Mark Poster, Stanford 1988
• Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle, London 1992
• Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of
Diminishing Expectations, New York 1979, 1991
• Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Cambridge,
MIT Press 1994
• Ray Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines, New York 1999
• Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, New York
For more information:
+30 2310 270838
01. The roots of Black Mirror
02. Society of the spectacle // Capitalist realism
04. Imaginary identities// society of control
05. Artificial intelligence and memory// the posthuman extensions of man
06. Biopolitics// anthropotechnics// ideology
07. Mythologies of the future: between dystopia, utopia and retrotopia.