Slavoj Žižek (/ˈslɑːvɔɪ ˈʒʒɛk/ (listen), SLAH-voy ZHEE-zhek; Slovene: [ˈslaʋɔj ˈʒiʒɛk]; born 21 March 1949) is a Slovenian philosopher, cultural theorist and public intellectual.[4][5] He is international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at the University of London, visiting professor at New York University and a senior researcher at the University of Ljubljana's Department of Philosophy.[6] He primarily works on continental philosophy (particularly Hegelianism, psychoanalysis and Marxism) and political theory, as well as film criticism and theology.

Žižek is the most famous associate of the Ljubljana School of Psychoanalysis, a group of Slovenian academics working on German Idealism, Lacanian psychoanalysis, ideology critique, and media criticism. His breakthrough work was 1989's The Sublime Object of Ideology, his first book in English, which was decisive in the introduction of the Ljubljana School's thought to English-speaking audiences. He has written over 50 books in multiple languages. The idiosyncratic style of his public appearances, frequent magazine op-eds, and academic works, characterised by use of obscene jokes and pop cultural examples, as well as politically incorrect provocations, have gained him fame, controversy and criticism both in and outside academia.[7]

In 2012, Foreign Policy listed Žižek on its list of Top 100 Global Thinkers, calling him "a celebrity philosopher",[8] while elsewhere he has been dubbed the "Elvis of cultural theory"[9] and "the most dangerous philosopher in the West".[10] Žižek has been called "the leading Hegelian of our time",[11] and "the foremost exponent of Lacanian theory".[12] A journal, the International Journal of Žižek Studies, was founded by professors David J. Gunkel and Paul A. Taylor to engage with his work.[13]

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