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Title: The work of love : Slavoj Žižek, universality, and film philosophy
Author: Evans , Christine
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis investigates Slavoj Zizek's methodology and his radical theories on love and universality , and explores their philosophical and linguistic reverberations within film analysis. In interrogating Zizek's methodological interest in parallax - a mode in which one grasps both the thing and its opposite simultaneously - as well as his philosophical and psychoanalytic focus on love, I argue that Zizek's work has changed the way that we think about both universality and film. Like Zizek's project of destabilizing traditional attitudes towards 'higher' and 'lower-order' culture and its analysis, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and theory are never static in their application or i identity. In Zizek's work, we encounter a form of critical engagement (parallax) in which reversal and inversion constitute the subversive core of our current cultural sphere. These inversions materialize in the visual field but - as I argue - they must be explored via the route of their philosophical potentiality. In this sense, the thesis not only investigates Zizek's own contributions to philosophy, fi1m theory, and culture, but employs him to initiate discussions on seemingly incompatible topics: visual culture and love, stylistic authorial proclivities and desire, theory and belief. Each chapter in the thesis involves analyses of individual fi1ms in relation to rhetorical devices and the key Zizekian concerns of parallax, appearance, universality, and love. These chapters explore discourses on philosophy and film and question Zizek's place in these systems, Zizek's thematic and stylistic attraction to inversion, appearance, analogy, and tautology, and the implications of using love to illuminate a contemporary approach to universality. Throughout, I argue that Zizek's methodology creates an analytical space in film philosophy which is hospitable to radical and necessary involutions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available