research & pedagogy
A Message from Director David Gabbard
When Antonio Garcia first described the Žižek Studies Conference to me, he described it as part of a larger project obedient to collectivist principles and communal values. He was being truthful, as the Conference quickly demonstrated by covering hotel expenses for graduate students, including the trio who attended and presented at the conference with me from Boise State University.
Though immediately hopeful of contributing something meaningful to this universal project, I had no idea or expectation of being asked to serve the Institute by taking the initial lead on the division of Research and Pedagogy. Each of these endeavors facilitated by the Institute defines its identity as a learning community or collective learning center. Research, in our view, contributes to the collective learning of the species through the production of new ideas, while pedagogy contributes to the distribution and sharing of those ideas through active reflection and engagement.
This project demonstrates its universality in a multitude of ways. The Institute invites everyone to participate, including young people and particularly those who’ve started or joined philosophy clubs in schools, and/or who are interested in or currently are majoring in philosophy in college. The Institute, of course, also hopes to attract intellectuals from a wide range of cultural, theological, and philosophical traditions. Yes, we should regard conversations on Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Lacan, Sloterdijk, Zupančič, Dolar, Badiou and many others as being tremendous learning opportunities for anyone interested in Žižek’s ideas.
Being a universal project demands that our invitation extend across the boundaries of ethnos. Reaching across cultures to open up deep philosophical issues of concern to us all is no longer an option, but a necessity. As Žižek claims, ‘our problems today are common problems’ with a common source – global capitalism, whose insatiable hunger for energy, power, and profit overrides any moral restraint against murdering hundreds of thousands of other human beings, if not driving the entire species into extinction. Literally everyone has a stake in the work of this Institute.
Initiatives of the Division of Research and Pedagogy
Collective Learning/Research Projects
We invite proposals for projects designed around essential questions related to Žižekian studies, loosely defined. For example, while we would welcome proposals to study and develop publications and/or curricular materials around Žižek’s work, including his reading of Hegel, Marx, Lacan, or others, we are also open to considering proposals for the exploration and engagement of ideas from outside Žižekian studies, and issues of universal concern.
We offer these forums to promote engagement with discrete books and other important texts relevant to the work of the Institute. We invite members to submit titles they believe to be important, and the Institute will provide opportunities to discuss those books via synchronous (webinars) and asynchronous (discussion boards) means of communication. The Institute will also use social media to draw attention to these opportunities.
We support the research of contemporary Žižekian scholars and intellectuals by bringing that research to a broader audience. As new books, films, and exhibitions concerning Žižekian matters appear, we will offer the author/s or editor/s the opportunity to work with us in developing Master Classes to foster more learning related to those works. We are also open to considering alternative topics for such classes. Either way, we are willing to work collaboratively with authors and editors to ensure these classes get designed in accordance with sound instructional design principles.
Other ideas on ways we can be of service to learners are also welcomed.