Slajov Zizek was born in Ljublijana, Slovenia, on March 21st, 1949. Attending a prestigious secondary school, he went on to study philosophy and Sociology in 1967 at the University of Ljublijana. He obtained his PhD in psychoanalysis from the same institution however, his early career was held back by the political uncertainties of his homeland during the 1970s. He was employed briefly by the University of Ljublijana before being removed from that post and commencing national service with the Yugoslav army. After a period of unemployment he was again hired as a researcher at the University of Ljublijana and published his first books in the 1980s. It was not until 1989 with the publication of his first English language book, The Sublime Object of Ideology, that Zizek achieved international recognition.
Zizek’s work is aptly labelled as cultural studies by virtue of the method in which he bridges between a multitude of disciplines including film studies, politics, sociology, philosophy, theology and psychology. An admirer of grand narratives, his work primarily seeks to reorient the central tenants of liberal ideology, which Zizek would argue are incorrectly identified at the moment, leading to excesses and aberration of the cause of liberalism. More broadly, his work carries a definite critique of the structures that bind contemporary individuals.
Violence, for Zizek, comes in two forms; objective ‘outbursts’ of violence and more systemic, objective violence that lingers in the background. The outbursts are what we give attention to when actually it is the background, systemic violence that requires our attention. Similar to dealing with symptoms rather than causes, the focus on visible or even obvious violence like murder, terrorism and international conflict prevent us from looking on the causes of these outbursts.
Zizek embraces the media to such an extent that he is referred to as the Elvis Presley of philosophy. He continues in his confrontational and humorous style to offer the critique of the radical left to the multitude of disciplines mentioned above.
Slavoj Zizek, Paul’s New Moment: Continental Philosophy and the Future of Christian Theology, Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press. 2010.
Slavoj Zizek, Living in the End Times, London: Verso. 2010.
Slavoj Zizek, Philosophy in the Present, Polity. 2010.
Slavoj Zizek, Mythology, Madness and Laughter: Subjectivity in German Idealism, Continuum. 2009.
Slavoj Zizek, First As Tragedy, Then As Farce, London: Verso. 2009.
Slavoj Zizek, The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic?, The MIT Press. 2009.
Slavoj Zizek, Violence: Big Ideas/Small Books, New York: Picador. 2008.
Slavoj Zizek, In Defense of Lost Causes, London: Verso. 2008.
Slavoj Zizek, Terrorism and Communism, London: Verso. 2007.
Slavoj Zizek, Virtue and Terror, London: Verso, 2007.
Slavoj Zizek, The Parallax View, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. 2006.
Slavoj Zizek, Neighbors and Other Monsters (in The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology), Cambridge, Massachusetts: University of Chicago Press. 2006.
Slavoj Zizek, The Universal Exception, London, New York: Continuum International Publishing Group. 2006.
Slavoj Zizek, Iraq: The Borrowed Kettle, London: Verso. 2004.
Slavoj Zizek, Revolution at the Gates: Žižek on Lenin, the 1917 Writings, London: Verso. 2002.
Slavoj Zizek, Welcome to the Desert of the Real. London: Verso. 2002.
Slavoj Zizek, Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism?, London: Verso. 2001.
Slavoj Zizek, The Abyss of Freedom, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. 1997.
Slavoj Zizek, For They Do not Know What They Do, London: Verso. 1991.
Slavoj Zizek, The Sublime Object of Ideology, London: Verso. 1989.