Slavoj Žižek Speaks!

Cultural critic tours the UK
Film still from 'Žižek!' (2005)

Independent publisher Verso is promoting a series of talks to be held in London by critical theorist Slavoj Žižek. Promoting his new book, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce (a reference to Karl Marx's famous statement on the repetition of history), Žižek will be putting in appearances at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Birkbeck College, RSA and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Some of the venues are offering free public admission, but you can find out all the relevant booking details at each institution by clicking the links below. The whistle-stop three-day tour of events runs from 23 to 25 November.

Slavoj Žižek on the Myth of Natural Balance
Date / Time: Monday, 23 November 2009 / 6.45pm

Location: ICA / Tickets sold out
In his new book First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, Slavoj Žižek examines the ‘four horsemen of the apocalypse’. Tonight he will discuss one of them – the threat of ecological catastrophe – and deliver a lecture criticising the ideology which has grown up around ecology. The notion that that we shouldn’t mess around with nature, he argues, has become the new opium of the masses and one of the most insidious and most conservative ideologies of our time. If we are do anything about environmental problems, says Žižek, we need to stop sentimentalising nature and criticise the assumptions of environmentalism. James Harkin chairs the talk.
£10 / £9 Concessions / £8 ICA Members.

Slavoj Žižek: Apocalyptic Times
Date / Time: Tuesday, 24 November 2009 / 2.30pm

Location: Birkbeck College / Free

Slavoj Žižek: First as Tragedy, Then as Farce: the economic crisis and the end of global capitalism
Date / Time: Tuesday, 24 November 2009 / 6.00pm

Location / Entry: RSA / Free but booking required
Slavoj Žižek – radical philosopher, polymath, film star, and author of over 30 books – is one of the most controversial and leading contemporary public intellectuals, simultaneously acclaimed as the ‘Elvis of cultural theory’ and denounced as ‘the most dangerous philosopher in the West’.

He visits the RSA to ask the question that is on everyone’s lips: if we can pour billions of dollars into the global banking system in a frantic attempt at financial stabilization, why has it not been possible to bring the same forces to bear in addressing world poverty and environmental crisis?

Slavoj Žižek: First as Tragedy, Then as Farce: The Double Death of Neoliberalism and the Idea of Communism
Date / Time: Wednesday, 25 November 2009 / 1pm

Location / Entry: LSE / Free
Slavoj Žižek argues that the neoliberalism died twice: first as a political doctrine in the tragedy of the attacks of 9/11; then its farcical collapse as an economic theory when the meltdown at the end of 2008 brought an end to the utopia of global market capitalism. Has this crisis now offered a vital opening for the left to seize the reins of politics and the state?

Slavoj Žižek, the Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic, is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana. This lecture launches Mr Žižek's new book First as Tragedy, Then as Farce.

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