Zizek Studies Conference

Call for Proposals and Presentations

5th Biennial International Zizek Studies Conference

Conference Date: May 15-17, 2020

Location: Nuci’s Space in Athens, GA (USA)

Venue info: https://www.nuci.org

Keynotes: TBD


NOTIFICATION OF ACCEPTANCE: December 1, 2019 (or earlier)



*All accepted proposals must register in order to appear on the program. Presenters will have a special rate.


The Post-Apocalyptic Ideological Wasteland: What is Zizekian after Zizek?


As the world fell each of us, in our own way, was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy: me or everyone else? . . . Here they come again. . . worming their way into the black matter of my brain. I tell myself. . . they cannot touch me. They are long dead.

—Max Rockatanksy, Mad Max: Fury Road


Ideology is not a dreamlike illusion that we build to escape insupportable reality; in its basic dimension it is a fantasy-construction which serves as a support for our ‘reality’ itself: an ‘illusion’ which structures our effective, real social relations and thereby masks some insupportable, real, impossible kernel.

—Slavoj Zizek, The Sublime Object of Ideology

The Zizekian Institute for Research, Inquiry, and Pedagogy is pleased to invite submissions and participation for the 5th biennial Zizek Studies Conference on "The Post-Apocalyptic Ideological Wasteland.” It has been said that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism. Undoubtedly, Zizek’s quintessential book The Sublime Object of Ideology had a tremendous influence on the landscape of many disciplines. Since its publication, Zizek has published prolifically, appeared on numerous YouTube videos, engaged in high profile debates, elucidated his ideas through film with The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema and the follow-up The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, and was the central focus of Astra Taylor’s Zizek!. Although the term “Zizekian” has been used by many, it has not been given the attention to define it, for better or worse, as a matter of philosophical inquiry, epistemology, or even beyond the academic constraints to the consideration of the ontological embodiment (i.e., to live in a Zizekian manner). When we add “-ian” to a person’s name, then we take on the accountability of how such addendum becomes the interpretive ideology, especially posthumously. The 2020 them was inspired by the question of what will we do when Zizek is no longer alive to respond to criticisms and questions? What would we do if the university was no longer in existence in an apocalyptic setting? Would we still think and engage the world under the idea of being Zizekian? And, if so, what would this mean as an ideology among a new wasteland of ideologies all vying for relevance, survival, and, of course, dominance?    


We encourage submissions for papers, panels, book talks, and artistic exhibits/presentations that are inspired by this year’s theme. In general, here are some questions, though not confined to these alone, that we hope will be taken up at this year’s conference:


  • Why Zizek? Amongst all the philosophers, why does Zizek impact your work/life, and how did you even arrive at finding Zizek’s work?


  • What is Zizekian, if this is even legitimate to invoke? (especially as used in your respective discipline/field/life)


  • How does the reading of Zizek in books versus, for example, the YouTube Zizek provide a broadening or narrowing/shallowing of his influence?


  • Is there a standard or orthodoxy amongst those using Zizek to proclaim a particular trajectory of correct interpretations versus incorrect or misinterpretations? Why would these be important points to address with future scholars?


  • In what areas has Zizek’s work been least utilized or neglected for the most part? Is this an important endeavor for Zizek studies moving forward?


  • “General themes” may also focus on psychoanalysis, cultural studies, media and film studies, literary theory, philosophy, and a range of other intersecting fields.


The conference has evolved beyond a rigid call for proposals in place of an embodying Zizekian motif. That is, we invite a broad range of scholars, individuals, artists, and more to interpret the theme in a way that is connected and applicable to their academic and/or personal intellectual/political lives. As each interprets the theme, each person is given the freedom and opportunity to be a part of the conference, which enlivens a rich texture of various motifs—intellectual or application/practice—that continues the integrity and spirit of the conference. Send 500 word  abstracts of proposed papers/presentations to Zizekian2020@gmail.com


If there are any questions about whether a proposal fits or is workable, please email Antonio Garcia at Antonio@zizekianinstitute.org and he will assist and support you through the process of ideas and submission.

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