Slavoj Žižek ( (listen) SLAH-voy ZHEE-zhek; Slovene: [ˈslaʋɔj ˈʒiʒɛk]; born 21 March 1949) is a Slovenian philosopher, a researcher at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Arts and international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities of the University of London. He is a self-described “radical leftist” and a “communist in a qualified sense.” He is also Global Eminent Scholar at Kyung Hee University in Seoul and Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University. He works in subjects including continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, political theory, cultural studies, art criticism, film criticism, Marxism, Hegelianism and theology.
In 1989, Žižek published his first English-language text, entitled The Sublime Object of Ideology. In this book, he departed from traditional Marxist theory to develop a materialist conception of ideology that drew heavily on Lacanian psychoanalysis and Hegelian idealism. His theoretical work became increasingly eclectic and political in the 1990s, dealing frequently in the critical analysis of disparate forms of popular culture and making him a popular figure of the academic left. A 2005 documentary film entitled Zizek! chronicled Žižek’s work. A journal, the International Journal of Žižek Studies, was founded by professors David J. Gunkel and Paul A. Taylor to engage with his work.Žižek’s idiosyncratic style, popular academic works, frequent magazine op-eds, and critical assimilation of high and low culture have gained him international influence, controversy, criticism and a substantial audience outside academia. In 2012, Foreign Policy listed Žižek on its list of Top 100 Global Thinkers, calling him “a celebrity philosopher” while elsewhere he has been dubbed the “Elvis of cultural theory” and “the most dangerous philosopher in the West”. Žižek has been called “the leading Hegelian of our time,” and Rothenberg and Khadr (2013) state that he is the “foremost exponent of Lacanian theory.”