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Palgrave Macmillan

Zizek and Media Studies

A Reader

ISBN 9781137366245
Publication Date April 2014
Formats Hardcover Paperback Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

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. 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 film, media, and cultural theory that shows a marked difference from an early Lacanian approach. The contributors in this book take up a specifically Žižekian approach to studies of cinema and media, both old and new, raising questions about power, ideology, sexual difference, and enjoyment. Including chapters written by key figures in Žižekian film, media, and cultural theory such as Jodi Dean, Todd McGowan, Paul A. Taylor, and Fabio Vighi, it concludes with a response from Žižek himself.

Matthew Flisfeder is Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University, Canada. He is the author of The Symbolic, the Sublime, and Slavoj Žižek's Theory of Film.
Louis-Paul Willis is Department Head of New Media Creation and Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies at Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Canada.

Introduction: Žižek and Media Studies, Beyond Lacan; Matthew Flisfeder and Louis-Paul Willis
1. Žižek's Reception: Fifty Shades of Gray Ideology; Paul A. Taylor
2. The Sublime Absolute: Althusser, Žižek, and the Critique of Ideology; Agon Hamza
3. Student Fantasies: A Žižekian Perspective on the 2012 Quebec Student Uprising; Louis-Paul Willis
4. The Objective: The Configuration of Trauma in the 'War on Terror,' or the Sublime Object of the Medium; Richard Bégin
5. The Priority of the Example: Hegel Contra Film Studies; Todd McGowan
6. Imagining the End Times: Ideology, the Contemporary Disaster Movie, and Contagion; Matthew Beaumont
7. Žižek and the 80s Movie Song: "There Is a Non-Relationship"; Graham Wolfe
8. A Little Piece of the Reel: Prosthetic Vocality and the Obscene Surplus of Record Production; Mickey Vallee
9. White Elephants and Dark Matter(s): Watching the World Cup with Slavoj Žižek; Tim Walters
10. Contingent Encounters and Retroactive Signification: Zooming in on the Dialectical Core of Žižek's Film Criticism; Fabio Vighi
11. How to Kill Your Mother: Heavenly Creatures, Desire and Žižek's Return to Ideology; Cindy Zeiher
12. Dialogue with American Skepticism: Cavell and Žižek on Sexual Difference; Keiko Ogata
13. From Interpassive to Interactive Cinema: A Genealogy of the Moving Image of Cynicism; Tamas Nagypal
14. Beyond the Beyond: CGI and the Anxiety of Overperfection; Hugh Manon
15. Slavoj Žižek as Internet Philosopher; Clint Burnham
16. The Real Internet; Jodi Dean
17. Enjoying Social Media; Matthew Flisfeder
18. Is Torture Part of Your Social Network; Tara Atluri
Afterword: Staging Feminine Hysteria: Schoenberg's Erwartung; Slavoj Žižek

Tara Atluri, Open University, UK
Matthew Beaumont, University College London, UK
Richard Bégin, University of Montreal, Canada
Clint Burnham, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Jodi Dean, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, USA
Agon Hamza, University of Primorska, Republic of Slovenia
Hugh S. Manon, Clark University, USA
Todd McGowan, University of Vermont, USA
Tamas Nagypal, York University, Canada
Keiko Ogata, University at Buffalo, SUNY, USA
Paul A. Taylor, University of Leeds, UK
Mickey Vallee, University of Lethbridge, Canada
Fabio Vighi, Cardiff University, UK
Tim Walters, Okanagan College, Canada
Graham Wolfe, National University of Singapore
Cindy Zeiher, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Slavoj Žižek, European Graduate School, Switzerland


"Flisfeder and Willis completely reshape our understanding of the history of psychoanalytic film theory by contextualizing it through Slavoj Žižek's impact. Žižek and Media Studies comes at a time when contemporary psychoanalytic film theory has changed substantially and this contribution is thus required reading." - Hilary Neroni, Film and Television Studies, University of Vermont, USA and author of The Subject of Torture: Psychoanalysis, Biopolitics, and Media Representations
"One thing that makes reading Žižek so interesting and (let's be honest) entertaining is the way he engages popular culture and media. Unfortunately the impact of this effort has been largely underappreciated within the discipline of Media Studies. This book repairs that deficiency by developing a distinctly Žižekian approach to media scholarship. It is indispensable for anyone interested in Žižek and a must-read for students, teachers, and researchers in Media, Film, and Communication Studies." - David J. Gunkel, Professor, Northern Illinois University, USA and author of The Machine Question and Heidegger and the Media
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