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Zizek

THE ZIZEK AND MEDIA STUDIES READER – CALL FOR PAPERS

Call for Papers:  The Žižek and Media Studies Reader

Since the early 1970s, film, media, and cultural theorists have appealed to Lacanian psychoanalytic theory in order to discern processes of subjectivization, representation, and ideological interpellation.  In much of the early approaches to Lacanian theory in these fields, concepts such as the ‘mirror stage’, the Imaginary, the Symbolic, and the ‘gaze’ figured heavily.  However, beginning with the work of theorists such as Jacqueline Rose, Joan Copjec and Slavoj Žižek, a new approach to Lacan has been advanced, one which pays closer attention to concepts such as sexual difference, the objet petit a (the object-cause of desire), fantasy, the Real, enjoyment, and the drive.  Žižek in particular has advanced a political-philosophical re-interpretation of Lacan that has spawned a whole new wave of Žižekian film, media, and cultural theory that shows a marked difference from an early Lacanian approach.  They differ insofar as a Žižekian approach demonstrates connections between the media, ideology, the objet petit a, the Real, the drive, and enjoyment.

We are seeking papers to be included in an edited collection titled, The Žižek and Media Studies Reader.  Papers should discuss Žižek’s relevance for and connection to one of the following areas of media studies:  film/cinema; popular culture; and, new/digital media.  Suggested topics include:

–      A Žižekian reading of a particular film/popular culture artefact
–      Ideology critique
–      Media politics
–      Subjectivity/Identity studies
–      Media in the context of the ‘demise of symbolic efficiency’
–      Communicative capitalism
–      The relationship between media and desire/drive
–      Media and fantasy
–      Media and enjoyment

Please submit abstracts between 250-500 words and a short biographical statement by September 15th, 2012 to either Matthew Flisfeder matthew.flisfeder@gmail.com or Louis-Paul Willis louis-paul.willis@uqat.ca

**END**

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World Crisis

SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK: ‘THE SITUATION IS CATASTROPHIC, BUT NOT SERIOUS’

Co-sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics

Launch of the Committee on Globalization and Social Change

A talk by Slavoj Žižek: “The Situation Is Catastrophic, but Not Serious”

April 4 / Proshansky Auditorium / 6:30 p.m. 
CUNY GRADUATE CENTER/ 365 FIFTH AVENUE (AT 34TH STREET), NEW YORK CITY

Free, reservations required.

For more information, call 212-817-8215.

Slavoj Žižek is “the world’s hippest philosopher,” according to the British newspaper The Telegraph. He “can spin you from Heidegger to Hershey bars (by way of Hitchcock and Hizbollah).” Žižek is a “master of the counterintuitive observation,” according to The New Yorker.

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Zizek

Zizek

THE IDEA OF COMMUNISM

Edited by SLAVOJ ZIZEK AND COSTAS DOUZINAS

Published 7th February, 2011

——————————-

ALAIN BADIOU

JUDITH BALSO

BRUNO BOSTEELS

SUSAN BUCK-MORSS

COSTAS DOUZINAS

TERRY EAGLETON

PETER HALLWARD

MICHAEL HARDT

JEAN-LUC NANCY

ANTONIO NEGRI

JACQUES RANCIERE

ALESSANDRO RUSSO

ALBERTO TOSCANO

GIANNI VATTIMO

SLAVOJ ZIZEK

——————————-

‘The long night of the left is coming to a close’ write Slavoj Zizek and Costas Douzinas in their introduction to The Idea of Communism. The continuing economic crisis which began in 2008, the shift away from a unipolar world defined by American hegemony, and the ecological crisis mean that growing numbers of people are keen to explore an alternative, and to re-discover the idea of communism. This volume, which emerges from the landmark ‘Idea of Communism’ conference in 2009, marks the theoretical beginning of that re-discovery.

Bringing together an all-star cast of radical intellectuals, including Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek, Terry Eagleton, Michael Hardt, and Antonio Negri, The Idea of Communism explores the historical, philosophical, and political dimensions of the communist ideal, in order to clarify its meaning and relevance today. The volume brings together their discussions from the landmark conference, highlighting both the idea of communism’s continuing significance and the need to reconfigure the concept within a world marked by havoc and crisis.

The contributors argue that multiple crises of the modern world lay bare the limits of mainstream liberal capitalist ideology. Blending astute analysis with compelling theoretical sophistication, The Idea of Communism complements the themes and arguments in other works in Verso’ ‘Pocket Communism’ series, including Badiou’s The Communist Hypothesis, Boris Groys’ The Communist Postscript, and Bruno Bosteel’s forthcoming The Actuality of Communism.

The collection opens with an exhilarating call to arms by France’s greatest living intellectual, the ‘last man standing’ of ’68. The iconic Badiou examines the link between the communist idea and political practice, highlighting what he calls “the anonymous action of millions of militants, rebels, fighters” who, although “unrepresentable as such”, have throughout history represented, “elements of the Idea of Communism at various stages”.

Capturing the sense of intellectual confidence and excitement in renewing the communist ideal, Slavoj Zizek concludes the collection with a characteristically wide-ranging contribution taking in Lenin, Bill Gates and Samuel Beckett. He addresses the question, ‘how to begin from the beginning?’ and posits an answer by way of identifying new revolutionary subjects which correspond to today’s ‘post-industrial’ capitalism.

——————————-

Praise for SLAVOJ ZIZEK:

“Zizek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation.” New Yorker

“A great provocateur… Zizek writes with passion and an aphoristic energy that is spellbinding.” Los Angeles Times

“The most dangerous philosopher in the West.” New Republic

——————————

SLAVOJ ZIZEK is today’s most controversial public intellectual. His work traverses the fields of philosophy, psychoanalysis, theology, history and political theory, taking in film, popular culture, and literature to provide acute analyses of the complexities of contemporary ideology as well as a serious and sophisticated philosophy. The author of over 30 books, SLAVOJ ZIZEK’S provocative prose has challenged a generation of activists and intellectuals. His latest book is LIVING IN THE END TIMES. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

COSTAS DOUZINAS is a Professor of Law and Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London. He is the author of numerous works, including HUMAN RIGHTS AND EMPIRE, THE END OF HUMAN RIGHTS, and LAW AND THE IMAGE: THE AUTHORITY OF ART AND THE AESTHETICS OF LAW.

——————————–

ISBN -13: 978 1 84467 459 6 / $26.95 / £14.99 / $33.50 / Paperback / 240 pages

ISBN -13: 978 1 84467 455 8 / $95.00 / £55.00 / $118.50 / Hardback / 240 pages

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Althusser

DÉCALAGES: AN ALTHUSSER STUDIES JOURNAL

http://scholar.oxy.edu/decalages/

I am pleased to announce the first issue of Décalages, an online peer-reviewed journal devoted to the work of Althusser and his circle: http://www.decalages.net  

montag@oxy.edu

About the Journal

Since the publication in 1965 of For Marx and Reading Capital, the work of Althusser has continued to provoke discussion, debate and controversy throughout the world. The posthumous publication of thousands of pages of texts and correspondence has not only led to an increased interest in the work of Althusser, it has altered our sense of both the scope and meaning(s) of his work. In addition to the late writings, the mass of material from the sixties and seventies gathered in the Fonds Althusser at the Institut Mémoire de l’Édition Contemporaine has deprived much—but not all—of the commentary of the seventies and eighties of its relevance and interest. At this point, the known Althusser is dwarfed by the unknown.  We feel that the time for a reconsideration of Althusser, free from the often sterile debates of the past, has come. It is possible and necessary to read Althusser, a different Althusser with a different oeuvre, in a new way.

At the same time we recognize that while it is standard practice to refer to Althusser in many disciplines, from film studies to sociology, there are few places to publish studies of Althusser’s texts themselves. It is for this reason that a very diverse group of scholars from different countries and disciplines came together to establish Décalages, an online peer-reviewed journal in which work focused on Althusser in the broadest sense—readings of his texts, as well as the texts of those who worked with him, comparative analyses, applications of his theory—would appear, thus encouraging debate and discussion. We would also provide space in every issue for reviews of the latest scholarship on Althusser. Finally we will include an archives section in which we will publish previously unpublished texts by Althusser.

Aims and scope

Our objective is to establish a global community of those working on Althusser. Every essay submitted will be carefully peer-reviewed not with the aim of imposing a single interpretation of Althusser, but precisely to strengthen the diversity of views and encourage discussion and debate.

For the present we seek articles in French, Spanish, Italian and English. We will also consider translating texts published in one of these languages into another language to make it accessible to a new audience. Anyone wishing to submit an article to be published in a language other than the four named above, should contact the editor prior to submission. In addition to receiving online submissions of articles, we are always interested in reviewing proposals for translations, reviews and special issues. Please contact the editor: montag@oxy.edu

Editor:
Warren Montag, Occidental College

Current Issue: Volume 1, Issue 1 (2010)

Review of Louis Althusser and the traditions of French Marxism
Matt Bonal

Recension à Jean-Claude Bourdin (coord.), Althusser : une lecture de Marx
Andrea Cavazzini

On the Cultural Revolution
Anonymous tr. Jason E. Smith [Attributed to Louis Althusser]

Sur la révolution culturelle
Anonyme [Attribué à Louis Althusser]

El Materialismo Tardío de Althusser y el Corte Epistememológico
Giorgos Fourtounis Tr. Aurelio Sainz Pezonaga

Escatologia à la cantonade. Althusser oltre Derrida
Vittorio Morfino

On the Emptiness of an Encounter: Althusser’s Reading of Machiavelli
Filippo Del Luchesse tr. Warren Montag

Il riconoscimento delle maschere. Soggettività e intersoggettività in 
Leggere «Il Capitale»
Cristian Loiacono

Zizek y Althusser. Vida o muerte de la lectura sintomática.
Mariana de Gainza

El Althusser Tardío: ¿Materialismo del Encuentro o Filosofía de la Nada?
Warren Montag tr. Aurelio Sainz Pezonaga

Mil Fisuras. Arte y Ruptura a partir de Althusser
Aurelio Sainz Pezonaga

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Porcupine Tree - The Incident

Porcupine Tree - The Incident

FIRST AS TRAGEDY, THEN AS FARCE

 

Verso Books and the Brecht Forum welcome

Zizek: First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

7:00 PM / Wednesday October 14, 2009, the Cooper Union, Great Hall, New York

Advance Registration: http://www.brechtforum.org/zizek  

Pay what you can: $10 / $15 ($15 admission includes a copy of Zizek’s newly-released First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

Called “the most dangerous philosopher in the West,” Slavoj Žižek is today’s most controversial public intellectual. His work traverses the fields of philosophy, psychoanalysis, theology, history and political theory, taking in film, popular culture, literature and jokes—all to provide acute analyses of the complexities of contemporary ideology as well as a serious and sophisticated philosophy. The author of over 50 books, his forthcoming First as Tragedy, Then As Farce will be published in October.

Slavoj Žižek’s provocative prose has challenged a generation of activists and intellectuals. Now “the Elvis of cultural theory” will make a major New York City appearance on October 14 at the Great Hall in Cooper Union. Zizek’s talk—“FIRST AS TRAGEDY, THEN AS FARCE”—will frame the current global crisis, with an accessible analysis of how we moved from the tragedy 9/11 to the farce of the financial meltdown.

First as Tragedy, Then As Farce (Verso Books; $12.95; Pub October 19, 2009) asks whether we are prepared now that history has forced itself upon us, first with the attacks of September 11, 2001 and more recently with the financial meltdown of 2008. While figures on the Right and Left alike now descry the years of irrational exuberance that propped up the housing bubble, few have come to understand the deadlock that binds us. A call for the Left to reinvent itself in the light of our desperate historical situation, First as Tragedy, Then As Farce declares that “the time for liberal, moralistic blackmail is over.”

VISIT ZIZEK’S NEWLY LAUNCHED WEBSITE: http://zizek.us/

BUY THE BOOK: http://zizek.us/tragedy/

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Gilles Deleuze

Gilles Deleuze

DELEUZE & RACE

 

Jason Adams

While the relevance of Gilles Deleuze for a materialist feminism has been amply demonstrated in the last two decades or so, what this key philosopher of difference and desire can do for the theorization of race and racism has received surprisingly little attention. This is despite the explicit formulation of a materialist theory of race as instantiated in colonization, sensation, capitalism and culture, particularly in Deleuze’s collaborative work with Félix Guattari.

Part of the explanation of why there has been a relative silence on Deleuze within critical race and colonial studies is that the philosophical impetus for overcoming eugenics and nationalism have for decades been anchored in the conventional readings of Kant and Hegel, which Deleuze laboured to displace. Through the vocabularies of psychoanalysis, deconstruction, and moral philosophy, even the more sophisticated theorizations of race today continue the neo-Kantian/neo-Hegelian programme of retrieving a cosmopolitan universality beneath the ostensibly inconsequential differences called race.

Opposing this idealism, Deleuze instead asks whether the conceptual basis for this program, however commendable, does not foreclose its political aims, particularly in its avoidance of the material relations it seeks to change. The representationalism and oversimplified dialectical frameworks guiding the dominant antiracist programme actively suppress an immanentist legacy which according to Deleuze is far better suited to grasping how power and desire differentiate bodies and populations: the legacies of Spinoza, Marx and Nietzsche; biology and archeology; Virginia Woolf and Jack Kerouac; cinema, architecture, and the fleshy paintings of Francis Bacon. It is symptomatic too, that Foucault’s influential notion of biopolitics, so close to Deleuze and Guattari’s writings on the state, is usually taken up without its explicit grounding in race, territory and capitalist exchange. Similarly, those (like Negri) that twist biopolitics into a mainly Marxian category, meanwhile, lose the Deleuzoguattarian emphasis on racial and sexual entanglement. It would seem then, that it is high time for a rigorous engagement with the many conceptual ties between Foucault’s lectures on biopolitics, Deleuze and Guattari, and Deleuze-influenced feminism, to obtain a new materialist framework for studying racialization as well as the ontopolitics of becoming from which it emerges. While it will inevitably overlap in a few ways, this collection will differ from work done under the “postcolonial” rubric for a number of important reasons.

First, instead of the mental, cultural, therapeutic, or scientific representations of racial difference usually analyzed in postcolonial studies, it will seek to investigate racial difference “in itself”, as it persists as a biocultural, biopolitical force amid other forces. For Deleuze and Guattari, as for Nietzsche before them, race is far from inconsequential, though this does not mean it is set in stone.

Second, as Fanon knew, race is a global phenomenon, with Europe’s racism entirely entwined with settler societies and the continuing poverty in the peripheries. The effects of exploitation, slavery, displacement, war, migration, exoticism and miscegenation are too geographically diffuse and too contemporary to fit comfortably under the name “postcolonial”. Rather, we seek to illuminate the material divergences that phenotypical variation often involves, within any social, cultural or political locus.

Third, again like Nietzsche, but also Freud, Deleuze and Guattari reach into the deep recesses of civilization to expose an ancient and convoluted logic of racial discrimination preceding European colonialism by several millennia. Far from naturalizing racism, this nomadological and biophilosophical “geology of morals” shows that racial difference is predicated on fully contingent territorializations of power and desire, that can be disassembled and reassembled differently. That race is immanent to the materiality of the body then, does not mean that it is static any more than that it is simple: rather what it suggests is that its transformation is an always already incipient reality.

Possible themes:

CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS – Oedipus and racialization – fascist desire – civilization, savagery and barbarism – earth and its peoples – delirium and hallucination as racial – miscegenation

CAPITALISM – faciality – colonization and labor migration as racializing apparatuses of capture – urban segregation – environmental racism

POLITICS – hate speech and law as order-words – D&G, May ’68 and the third world – Deleuze and Palestine – Guattari and Brazil – terrorist war machines and societies of control – Deleuzian feminism and race

SCIENCE – neuroscience and race – continuing legacies of racist science and the “Bell Curve” debate – kinship, rhizomatics and arboreality – animals, plants, minerals and racial difference – miscegenation – evolutionary biology and human phenotypical variation – vitalism and Nazism

ART – affects of race (sport, hiphop, heavy metal, disco…) – primitivism (Rimbaud, Michaux, Artaud, Tournier, Castaneda, etc.) – vision, cinema and race – music, resonance and bodies

PHILOSOPHY – geophilosophy: provincializing canonical philosophy – race and becoming – decolonizing Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, Schelling… – the effect of criticisms of Deleuze (Badiou, Zizek, Hallward) on antiracism Chapters will be between 4000 and 7000 words long.

Arun Saldanha will write the introduction and a chapter called “Bastard and mixed-blood are the true names of race”.

Jason Michael Adams will write the conclusion.

For more details on this project, contact Jason Adams at: adamsj@HAWAII.EDU

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Manufacturing Happiness

 

CALL FOR PAPERS:

Manufacturing Happiness: Investigating Subjectivity, Transformation, and Cultural Capital

The Graduate Students of George Mason University invite paper proposals for our 4th Annual Cultural Studies Conference. The Conference will take place on Saturday, September 19, 2009 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia

This conference considers practices, institutions, and products that promise happiness, in a sense of inducing “the good life,” typically expressed as self-realization or finding one’s purpose-borrowing Agamben’s term, subjective technologies that have a specific relationship to social and political forces. How do practices designed or claimed for such diverse purposes as personal stress management, recovering from colonization, parenting, global conglomeration, and corporate development work? What kinds of transformations do they bring, in terms of personality, power, and communitas? And what becomes of the living cultural traditions from which these practices are abstracted, as in the care of the psychotherapeutic practice of “western Buddhism,” which Zizek claims is the “hegemonic ideology par excellance of late capitalism?” From the transmission of packaged idealisms and practices with a putative relationship to traditional sources to the commodified transactions for services and goods, the conference organizers seeks papers that investigate the growing cultural industries, both global and local, devoted to manufacturing happiness.

The wide-ranging contexts for our investigation include, but are not limited to: the social positions within the family, home, workplace, community, or nation-state; geographical and global considerations of institutional development and affiliation; the political economy of corporate training models; cultural capital and legitimation; media and mediation (print, television, DVD, Internet, radio, etc.); religious connections and origins; the confirmation and construction of identities (gender, physical, class, spiritual, national, sexual, and race) in social or political realms; and the rise and intensity of ecological subjectivities.

Examples:
* Integral Institute, Integral Naked, and Ken Wilber
* Est Training
* Shambhala Training
* Eckhardt Tolle and Oprah’s Book Club
* Weight loss and Constructing Beauty
* The “Human Potential” Movement
* The Zen Alarm Clock
* The Secret
* Hollywood Kabballah Centre
* Transpersonal Psychology
* The “Self-Help” Industry
* Magazines such as What Is Enlightenment?

Please e-mail a 500-word abstract of your presentation along with a short CV to Michael Lecker (mlecker@gmu.edu) no later than June 15, 2009.

 

Additional information:

http://www.allconferences.com/conferences/2009/20090427183905/

http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=168118

http://culturalstudies.gmu.edu/happiness/

 

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IMMANENCE AND MATERIALISM CONFERENCE

DEPARTMENT OF POLITICS
QUEEN MARY, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON

CALL FOR PAPERS

Date: 23 June 2009
Venue: Queen Mary, University of London
Call for papers deadline: 22 May 2009
All papers and enquiries to: s.j.choat@qmul.ac.uk

Keynote speakers:

Professor James Williams (University of Dundee)
Dr Ray Brassier (American University of Beirut)
Dr Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths, University of London)


The concepts of immanence and materialism are becoming increasingly important in political philosophy. This conference seeks to analyse the connections between these two concepts and to examine the consequences for political thought. It is possible, as Giorgio Agamben has done, to make a distinction within modern philosophy between a line of transcendence (Kant, Husserl, Levinas, Derrida) and a line of immanence (Spinoza, Nietzsche, Deleuze, Foucault). If we follow this distinction, then ‘the line of immanence’ might include Spinozist interpretations of Marx, Althusser’s aleatory materialism, and Deleuze’s superior empiricism. But what is the value of this work and is it useful to distinguish it from ‘transcendent’ philosophies? Distinctions between materialism and idealism are equally complex: Derrida, for example, might as easily be classed a materialist as an idealist. And where can we place more recent work like the critiques of Deleuze by Badiou and Zizek, or Meillassoux’s speculative materialism?

Papers may wish to consider the following questions:
* What is materialist philosophy? How can it be distinguished from idealist philosophy, and is it useful to do so? Are all philosophies of immanence necessarily materialist?
* Is it legitimate or useful to make a clear distinction between philosophies of immanence and philosophies of transcendence?
* How have the concepts of immanence and materialism traditionally been conceived within political philosophy?

* What, if any, are the political consequences of pursuing a philosophy of immanence?

 

Paper titles and a 300-word abstract should be sent by Friday 22 May 2009 to Simon Choat at: s.j.choat@qmul.ac.uk, Department of Politics, Queen Mary College, University of London.

Graduate papers welcome.


Dr Simon Choat
Lecturer in Politics
Queen Mary, University of London
Office: Hatton House 1B
Email: s.j.choat@qmul.ac.uk
Tel: 020 7882 8592
http://www.politics.qmul.ac.uk/staff/choat/index.html

 

 

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On the Idea of Communism – Conference Programme

 

Conference: 13-15 March 2009

“It’s just the simple thing that’s hard, so hard to do” (B. Brecht)

 

http://www.bbk.ac.uk/bih/news/communism

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
ON THE IDEA OF COMMUNISM
13th/14th/15th March 2009
Logan Hall, Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL

 

PROGRAMME:

 

 

Friday March 13

2pm    Costas Douzinas – Welcome

Alain Badiou: Introductory remarks

Michael Hardt: “The Production of the Common”

Bruno Bosteels: “The Leftist Hypothesis: Communism in the Age of Terror”

Peter Hallward: “Communism of the Intellect, Communism of the Will”

Alberto Toscano:    “Communist Power / Communist Knowledge”


Jean-Luc Nancy will be present throughout the conference and will intervene in the discussions.

6 pm    End


Saturday March 14

10am    Alessandro Russo: “Did the Cultural Revolution End Communism?”

Wang Hui:    “Transition towards Socialism”

Toni Negri: “Communisme: reflexions sur le concept et la pratique”

1pm    Lunch

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

3pm    Terry Eagleton: “Communism: Lear or Gonzalo?”

Jacques Ranciere:    “Communists without Communism?”

Alain Badiou: “Communism: a generic name”

6pm    End

 

Sunday March 15

10am    Slavoj Zizek: “To begin from the beginning over and over again”

Gianni Vattimo:    “Weak Communism?”

Judith Balso: “Communism: a hypothesis for philosophy, an impossible name for politics?”

Concluding Debate

2pm    End

 

For the previous post on this item, which provides a rationale for the Conference, see: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/on-the-idea-of-communism/

 

 

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