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, the contemporary philosopher and cultural critic, Slavoj Žižek, has popularized 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.
The chapters included in Žižek and Media Studies: A Reader take up a specifically Žižekian, as opposed to Lacanian, approach to studies of cinema and media, both old and new, raising questions about power, ideology, and enjoyment. The book is divided into four sections: Media, Ideology, and Politics; Popular Culture; Film and Cinema; and, Social Media and the Internet.
“Matthew Flisfeder and Louis-Paul Willis have ultimately assembled a valuable interdisciplinary contribution to the field of media studies, amounting to a sustained and convincing argument for the growth of a Žižekian media studies within the discipline of media studies.” – Canadian Journal of Communication
“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
Introduction: Žižek and Media Studies, Beyond Lacan – Matthew Flisfeder and Louis-Paul Willis; Part One: Media, Ideology, and Politics – Chapter 1: Žižek’s Reception: Fifty Shades of Gray Ideology – Paul A. Taylor; Chapter 2: The Sublime Absolute: Althusser, Žižek, and the Critique of Ideology – Agon Hamza; Chapter 3: Student Fantasies: A Žižekian Perspective on the 2012 Quebec Student Uprising – Louis-Paul Willis; Chapter 4: The Objective: The Configuration of Trauma in the ‘War on Terror’, or the Sublime Object of the Medium – Richard Bégin; Part Two: Popular Culture – Chapter 5: The Priority of the Example: Hegel Contra Film Studies – Todd McGowan; Chapter 6: Imagining the End Times: Ideology, The Contemporary Disaster Movie and Contagion – Matthew Beaumont; Chapter 7: Žižek and the 80s Movie Song: “There is a Non-Relationship” – Graham Wolfe; Chapter 8: A Little Piece of the Reel: Prosthetic Vocality and the Obscene Surplus of Record Production – Mickey Vallee; Chapter 9: White Elephants and Dark Matter(s): Watching the World Cup with Slavoj Žižek – Tim Walters; Part Three: Film and Cinema – Chapter 10: Contingent Encounters and Retroactive Signification: Zooming in on the Dialectical Core of Žižek’s Film Criticism – Fabio Vighi; Chapter 11: How to Kill Your Mother: Heavenly Creatures, Desire, and Žižek’s Return to Ideology – Cindy Zeiher; Chapter 12: Dialogue with American Scepticism: Cavell and Žižek on Sexual Difference – Keiko Ogata; Chapter 13: From Interpassive to Interactive Cinema: A Genealogy of the Moving Image of Cynicism – Tamas Nagypal; Chapter 14: Beyond the Beyond: CGI and the Anxiety of Overperfection – Hugh Manon; Part Four: Social Media and the Internet – Chapter 15: Slavoj Žižek as Internet Philosopher – Clint Burnham; Chapter 16: The Real Internet – Jodi Dean; Chapter 17: Enjoying Social Media – Matthew Flisfeder; Chapter 18: Is Torture Part of Your Social Network – Tara Atluri; Appendix: Art – Staging Feminine Hysteria: Schoenberg’s Erwartung – Slavoj Žižek