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Zizek and the Media

ISBN: 978-0-7456-4367-0
192 pages
December 2010, Polity
Zizek and the Media (0745643671) cover image
Slavoj Zizek reaches the parts of the media that other theorists cannot. With sources ranging from Thomas Aquinas to Quentin Tarantino and Desperate Housewives to Dostoyevsky, Zizek mixes high theory with low culture more engagingly than any other thinker alive today. His prolific output includes such media friendly content as a TV series (The Pervert's Guide to Cinema) a documentary movie (Zizek!) and a wealth of YouTube clips. A celebrity academic, he walks the media talk.

Zizek and the Media provides a systematic and approachable introduction to the main concepts and themes of Zizek's work, and their particular implications for the study of the media. The book:

  • Describes the radical nature of Zizek's media politics
  • Uses Zizekian insights to expose the profound intellectual limitations of conventional approaches to the media
  • Explores the psychoanalytical and philosophical roots of Zizek's work
  • Provides the reader with Zizekian tools to uncover the hidden ideologies of everyday media content;
    Explains the ultimate seriousness that underlies his numerous jokes.

As likely to discuss Homer's Springfield as Ithaca, Zizek is shown to be the ideal guide for today's mediascape.

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Acknowledgements.

Preface: The Dog's Bollocks At the Media Dinner Party.

Introduction.

Chapter 1 The Mediated Imp of The Perverse.

Chapter 2 Zizek's Tickling Shtick.

Chapter 3 Big (Br)Other Psychoanalyzing the Media.

Chapter 4 Understanding Media: The Sublime Objectification of Ideology.

Chapter 5 The Media's Violence.

Chapter 6 The Joker's Little Shop of Ideological Horrors.

Conclusion Don't Just Do It.

Bibliography.

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Paul A. Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Communications Theory at the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds
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  • One of the first volumes in Polity’s new Theory and Media series.
  • Provides a concise introduction to the cult theorist Zizek specifically for students of media and cultural studies.
  • Examines Zizek’s key concepts and themes and their particular implications for the study of the media.
  • Uses copious examples from media and pop culture to show how Zizek mixes high theory with low culture more engagingly than any other thinker alive today.
  • Also considers the limitations of Zizek’s work in relation to the media and shows how students can develop this in their own research and writing.
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"An eloquent and compelling insight into the worldview of i ek and his contribution to the fields of medi and cultural analysis … It is nothing less than a myth-busting exposition of how, in the age of media saturation, we are directed to live and perceive."
Media, Culture & Society

"Ask not for whom theory waits, motionless - it waits for all of us in Paul Taylor's excellent Zizek and the Media."
Media Education Research Journal

"Taylor does a superb job of showing how electrifying and profound the media current that flows through Zizek's work really is."
Joan Copjec, University at Buffalo

"Paul Taylor's Zizek and the Media provides a thorough introduction to the paradoxes and subtleties of Slavoj Zizek's thought, and at the same time it articulates a compelling theory of how the contemporary media functions in unforeseen ways. Taylor's originality derives from his vigilant attention to forms. He is the first to explain fully how the idiosyncratic form in which Zizek presents his philosophy emerges out of its content. And in the process, he grasps what makes Zizek's such a penetrating critique of our media universe. Taylor's book goes beyond being a book about Zizek and becomes one that enacts Zizek's mode of thinking on its readers."
Todd McGowan, University of Vermont

"All jokes aside, this is a seriously serious book. Zizek is one of the most media-savvy of all contemporary philosophers, and medium in the form of the concrete universal is one of his most important concepts. Paul Taylor does a terrific job putting together these two sides of Zizek to produce a provocative parallax view."
Rex Butler, University of Queensland

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