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Slavoj Žižek. The Return To Hegel. 2009 2/16

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Uploaded on Mar 1, 2010

http://www.egs.edu/ Slavoj Žižek speaking about Hegel and Hegelian concepts of history and historicity, drawing not only on the works of Marxs Grundrisse and Jacques Lacan, but also on opera, Schoenbergs atonal revolution, the experience of impossibility, Freuds death drive, Steven King, Immanuel Kant, Martin Luthers radical revolution, concepts of authenticity and inauthenticity. In addition, Žižek referenced Alain Baidou, Gilles Deleuze, Pascal, Charlie Chaplin and the role of the spectator in The Grand Dictator, the drive to culture and the true satisfaction of the circular movement. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland. 2009


Slavoj Žižek is one of the most renowned philosophers working today. Taking Marxs injunction that philosophers must not only examine the world, but change it, his work borders on the evangelic. Standing astride critical theory, traditional philosophy, political and film theory and theoretical psychoanalysis, he is, in one sense the sole contemporary inheritor of Lacan, doing to Lacan what Lacan once did for Freud. Though at times accused of inconsistency, Žižek instead uses the philosophical tradition to constantly examine (and undermine) received truths. He has argued that it is not the role of the philosopher to act as the Big Other who tells us about the world, but rather it is the role of the thinker to challenge our own ideological assumptions.


Slavoj Žižek is the International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, a professor of philosophy and psychoanalysis at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland and a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, the London School of Economics, Princeton University, The New School for Social research and the University of California, Irvine. He has published over forty books and been the subject of two movies, Žižek! and The Perverts Guide To Cinema. In 1990 he ran unsuccessfully for president in Slovenias first democratic elections and he has been a consistently powerful voice in the world since then. His essays are regularly published in the New York Times, Lacanian Ink, the New Left review and the London Review of Books.


There is little in contemporary thought that Žižek has not explored on some level. From communism to Maoism, film studies to literature, and from Lenin to the issue of torture in the post-9/11 world, Žižek's work has, and continues to, inform the dialogue that surrounds them. Žižek's first book in English translation, The Sublime Object of Ideology, examines the issues surrounding the placement of "sublime objects" in a regime's iconography which allow it to transgress or alter commonly accepted moral law or thought. It is these objects—be it God, Fuhrer, Dear Leader or Land, the Flag, Democracy—that allow the regimes to "self-sanctify" their actions. While much of Žižek's work is strictly philosophical or psychoanalytical dealing with Hegel, Kant, Freud and Lacan, since 9/11 his work has become increasingly political, directly referencing the illegal actions taken by the Bush administration and the complicit nature of the European regimes of Blair, Sarkozy and Berlusconi.


Slavoj Žižek is the author of The Sublime Object of Ideology (1989), For They Know Not What They Do: Enjoyment As A Political Factor (1991), Looking Awry: an Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture(1991), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lacan (But Were Afraid To Ask Hitchcock) (1992), Enjoy Your Symptom! Jacques Lacan In Hollywood And Out (1992), Tarrying With The Negative: Kant, Hegel And The Critique Of Ideology (1993), Mapping Ideology (1994), The Metastases Of Enjoyment: Six Essays On Woman And Causality (Wo Es War) (1994), The Indivisible Remainder: An Essay On Schelling And Related Matters (1996), Gaze And Voice As Love Objects (1996), The Plague of Fantasies (1997), The Abyss Of Freedom Ages Of The World (1997), The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology (1999), Enjoy Your Symptom! Jacques Lacan in Hollywood and Out (2000), Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left (with Judith Butler and Ernesto Laclau) (2000), The Art of the Ridiculous Sublime, On David Lynchs Lost Highway (2000), The Fragile Absolute or Why the Christian Legacy is Worth Fighting For (2000), On Belief (2001), The Fright of Real Tears, Kieslowski and The Future (2001), Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism? Five Essays on the (Mis)Use of a Notion (2001), The Puppet and the Dwarf (2003), Organs Without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences (2003), Iraq The Borrowed Kettle (2004) and Violence (2008). Most recently, in 2009, Žižek published First As Tragedy, Then As Farce, analyzing the financial meltdown.

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