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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Marx Reloaded

In Uncategorized on May 1, 2012 at 11:44 am

The Centre for Ideology Critique and Žižek Studies and the Inter-disciplinary Psychosocial Seminar Series presents a screening of Marx Reloaded followed by a panel discussion with writer and director Jason Barker.


Tuesday May 15th 2012 6:00 – 8.30 pm

Cardiff University

To register a place:

For details contact:

“Marx Reloaded” examines the relevance of German socialist and philosopher Karl Marx’s ideas for understanding the global economic and financial crisis of 2008—09. Today a new generation of philosophers, artists and political activists are returning to Marx’s ideas in order to try to make sense of the crisis and to consider whether a world without or beyond capitalism is possible. Is the severity of the ongoing recession a sign that the capitalist system’s days are numbered? Ironically, 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, could it be that communism might provide the solution to the growing economic and environmental challenges facing the planet?

Written and directed by Jason Barker – himself an experienced writer, lecturer, translator and doctor of philosophy – “Marx Reloaded” comprises interviews with leading thinkers on Marxism, including those at the forefront of a popular revival in Marxist and communist ideas (including Antonio Negri, Nina Power, Jacques Rancière and Slavoj Žižek). The film also includes interviews with leading skeptics of this revival as well as light-hearted animation sequences which follow Marx’s adventures through the matrix of his own ideas.

An informal panel discussion with director and writer Jason Barker, Heiko Feldner (EUROP), Professor Chris Norris (Philosophy), and Dr. Fabio Vighi (EUROP) will follow the screening.


Professor Todd McGowan ‘Visions of Plenitude and Excess in the Cinema: Fantasy, Ideology, Freedom’

In Uncategorized on March 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm

The Centre for Ideology Critique and Zizek Studies and the Ideology Research Group are pleased to announce the following lecture:

‘Visions of Plenitude and Excess in the Cinema: Fantasy, Ideology, Freedom’

By Professor Todd McGowan (University of Vermont, USA)

Date: Monday 14th March 2011 Time: 5.00pm Location: 2.18 (Auditorium), Euros, Park Place

All are welcome to attend. For further information please contact Fabio Vighi (EUROS) at, Robert Crich (EUROS) at or go to

Supported by the Graduate School, EUROS, & ENCAP

Cardiff University Public Lecture: Professor Jodi Dean

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm

The Ideology Interdisciplinary Research Group (IIRG) and Centre for Ideology critique and Zizek Studies are pleased to announce the following public lecture:

‘Drive, Complexity and University Discourse’

By Professor Jodi Dean from The Hobart and William Smith Colleges, New York

Date: Thursday 10th March 2011

Time: 5.00pm

Location: EUROS, room 0.22

Professor Dean is a political scientist whose publications include Blog Theory (2010), Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies (2009), Zizek’s Politics (2006) and Publicity’s Secret: How Technoculture Capitalizes on Democracy (2002). She also Blogs at ICITE

All are welcome to attend. For further information please contact Tom Constant (ENCAP) at or Robert Crich (EUROS) at

Supported by the Graduate School, EUROS, & ENCAP

Event: Higher Education and Ideology Workshop

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm

The Ideology Interdisciplinary Research Group (IIRG) is pleased to announce the following event on Higher Education and ideology:

‘From ivory towers to ‘real problems’: The circuit of capital and ideological shifts in higher education’

Speakers: Filip Vostal and Lorenzo Silvaggi from the Philosophy of Social Science Study Group at University of Bristol

Date: Thursday 28th October
Time: 6.00
Location: The Graduate Centre, Room 3.19

All are welcome to attend

For further information please contact Robert Crich (EUROS) at or go to

Supported by the Graduate School, the Centre for Ideology Critique and Žižek Studies, EUROS, & ENCAP

Zizek Cartoon

In Uncategorized on September 4, 2010 at 10:50 am

Thanks to the very kind Mike Tueller for this. Definitely worth a chuckle for its surreal overtones.

Interview with Slavoj Zizek

In Interview, Uncategorized, Zizek on June 27, 2010 at 7:11 pm

From todays Observer:

“I am what you might call abstractly anti-capitalist,” he says. “For instance, I am suspicious of the old leftists who focus all their hatred on the United States. What about Chinese neo-colonialism? Why are the left silent about that? When I say this, it annoys them, of course. Good! My instinct as a philosopher is that we are effectively approaching a multicentric world, which means we need to ask new, and for the traditional left, unpleasant questions.”

A Round-up: Ideology and Film

In Anti-capitalism, Film, Ideology, Uncategorized, Zizek on March 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Maybe it’s because we have just been through Oscar season, but there has been some fantastic writing on film over the last few weeks.  First up, Slavoj Zizek has written on the two big films of the season: James Cameron’s Avatar (here in the New Stateman) and Catherine Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker (from the LRB blog).

In the latter, Zizek draws our attention to the apparent invisibility of liberal ideology when it shun politics to offer a ‘human’ narrative. As he has argued similarly elsewhere, when “the focus on the perpetrator’s traumatic experience enables us to obliterate the entire ethico-political background of the conflict”, “in its very invisibility, ideology is here, more than ever”.

Zizek’s reading of Avatar (which he also elaborated on in his lecture at Cardiff) on the other hand illustrates how the link between Fantasy and Reality, is an inherent political one which designates the terrain of ideology. Ultimately concluding that behind Avatar’s spectacular visual and technological prowess the role of ideological fantasy remains a rather traditional one. Zizek points to how “the film enables us to practise a typical ideological division: sympathising with the idealised aborigines while rejecting their actual struggle.” In this way, drawing a comparison to the Maoist/peasant struggles in rural india, Zizek argues that “the true avatar is thus Avatar itself – the film substituting for reality.”

If I was being critical, in both Zizek’s plays it rather safe and offers little in addition to his writings elsewhere.  This is especially disappointing in relation to the fact, in terms of Avatar at least, that there has also been much interesting discussion about what the politics of the film which is left unmined.  This Times article (‘the love story that started a thinker’s war’) illustrates this nicely as well as, albeit inadvertently, raising a question about whether Avatar is merely a Symptom or if it was also something of a Master-Signifier.

K-punk’s contribution is similarly pertinent for its attempt, not to merely disregard the films technological aspects as merely a screen to hide an all too common idealised narrative. Whilst he reaffirms the insight from his discussion of Capitalist Realism regarding Hollywood’s corporate anti-capitalism, he also suggests that “what is foreclosed in the opposition between a predatory technologised capitalism and a primitive organicism … is the possibility of a modern, technologised anti-capitalism.” In this sense, he argues that Avatar points to a question of “how modern technological civilization can be organised in a different way.”

Moving away from Avatar, K-Punk has also written on Alice in Wonderland on his blog as well as The Road in the latest issue of the journal Film Quarterly. As I’ve got a post on it in the works, I won’t say much about his discussion of The Road here apart from he argues that it demonstrates how capitalism and commodities have become, even at the end of the world, something of a untranscendable horizon of thought.

His post on Alice in Wonderland entitled Infantilizing Children raises a somewhat different question about whether the dumbing down of the narrative into a simple binary between good and evil betrays the subversive edge of Lewis Carrols original text. Fisher here draws a line between this infantilization and neo-liberal culture which also elucidated upon in Capitalist Realism and in other blog posts.  He also makes the somewhat interesting suggestion that Alice in Wonderland is something of a precursor to Kafka, in the sense that they both offer “Nonsense world, incomprehensibly inconsistent, arbitrary and authoritarian, full of bizarre rituals”.

To finish, just a couple of other things that I’ve read in the last couple of weeks. Firstly Evan Calder Williams’ article on catastrophe cinema in Mute is a fantastic overview of Hollywood’s current obsession of apocalypse. He also has a very nice blog of his own here and apparently a book on its way with the imprint Zero. Secondly, another blog certainly worth checking out is Kim DOT Dammit’s which is right here. Her post on Up in the Air is particularly worth reading.

the love story that’s started a thinkers’ war