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Update – Extimité: On Žižek and Race

by Ash Sharma
10 Nov 2007 • Comment (0) • Print
Posted: General Issue [0] | Commons

Call for Papers – Special issue of International Journal of Žižek Studies

Guest Editors: Ashwani Sharma and Valerie Hill

The notion of race is routinely invoked in contemporary academia while at the same time its analysis is dissipated across a range of disciplines and topics so that it seems it has either no critical coherency or else its orthodoxy is assumed such that the racial reading is always already predictable in advance. This creates the paradoxical situation whereby racism in its numerous and mutating modalities is rampant globally, yet the concept of race or racism is hardly examined directly at all. Identity, culture, ethnicity, difference, diaspora, multicultural are the metonymic chain of equivalences that arguably invite a post-racial, post-political understanding of racism, with the possible effect of leaving racisms to operate in new configurations, even in the guise of anti-racism. Does the critical work of Slavoj Žižek offer a cogent and sustained theoretical and political intervention beyond this impasse?

A striking aspect of Žižek’s output has been his consistent interrogation of various forms of racism, nationalism and anti-Semitism.  So far there been little direct commentary on this aspect of his work in the ever growing body of secondary literature. This special issue of the on-line International Journal of Žižek Studies ( will examine the critique of racism across Žižek’s  corpus addressing to what extent Žižek offers a distinctive understanding of the workings of race that is essential to the contemporary geo-political context, and the ways his approach can be further mobilised in political analysis of race, media and culture now. In particular, this issue invites papers examining Žižek’s analysis of racism, nationalism and imperialism through Lacanian psychoanalysis, dialectical materialism and ideological critique; the critique of liberal democracy, multiculturalism, cultural studies, postcolonialism and neo-liberal global capitalism; and his commitment to a praxis of universalism, anti-racism and Marxism.

Abstracts (500 words) by 31 March 2008 to Ash Sharma and Val Hill


Ash Sharma is the co-editor of darkmatter. He teaches at the University of East London, UK and is a member of the Black Study Group (London). He blogs at tabula rasa and co-edits the writing zine Southern Discomfort . Re-imagining (sub)urban space at twitter: @ashdisorient He is completing a book on race and visual culture.
All posts by: Ash Sharma | Email | Website

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