The Philosophy of Charlie Brooker’s ‘Black Mirror’ with Lauren Ware

Gary Hughes
Dr Lauren Ware

The University's Dr Lauren Ware will continue to analyse the philosophy of Charlie Brooker’s Netflix series Black Mirror at a special event on Thursday 7 November.

The event will take place at Bristol’s Loco Klub at 7.30pm, with tickets available here.

This will be followed by a similar event at Whitworth Locke, Princess Street, Manchester, on Monday 11 November.

For both events Dr Ware, who is a lecturer in practical philosophy, will take a close look at the three punishment episodes of the series: White Bear, White Christmas and Black Museum. Described by the event organisers as a ‘philosopher of pain and punishment’, she will explore how Black Mirror ‘performatively provokes some of the most urgent and controversial challenges to our criminal justice system – and what a philosophy of suffering can offer as a solution’.

Dr Ware has previously performed her research through her show The Pain Factory at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Bradford Literature Festival, analysed Game of Thrones and the philosophy of Kanye West for the BBC, and asked Medway audiences ‘Should Prisons Become Pain Factories?’ during a University-organised festival of public science in 2018.

Looking forward to her forthcoming Black Mirror events she said: ‘If Black Mirror-esque technology could cut down prison costs by letting people serve sentences on the basis of units of pain suffered, rather than years served, should we embrace it? Should prison sentences be intentionally painful? What’s the moral point of pain? These are the kinds of questions I’m interested in as a philosopher, and Black Mirror highlights these questions in a really intriguing, visceral way. Talking with other fans of the show about the philosophy of suffering will be really interesting and helpful.’

Dr Ware joined the University in 2017. Her primary research is in the philosophy of emotion.