Slavoj Žižek ( ( listen) SLAH-voy ZHIZH-ek; Slovene: [ˈslaʋɔj ˈʒiʒɛk]; born 21 March 1949) is a Slovenian continental philosopher. He is a senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University, and international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities of the University of London. He works in subjects including continental philosophy, political theory, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, film criticism, Marxism, Hegelianism and theology.
Žižek in 1989 published his first English text, The Sublime Object of Ideology, in which he departed from traditional Marxist theory to develop a materialist conception of ideology that drew heavily on Lacanian psychoanalysis and Hegelian idealism. His early 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 critic of capitalism, neoliberalism and political correctness, Žižek identifies as a political radical, and his work has been characterized as challenging orthodoxies of both the political right and the left-liberal academy.
Žižek’s idiosyncratic style, popular academic works, frequent magazine op-eds, and critical assimilation of high and low culture have gained him international influence and a substantial audience outside of academia in addition to controversy and criticism. 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’s work was chronicled in a 2005 documentary film entitled Zizek! A scholarly journal, the International Journal of Žižek Studies, was founded to engage his work.