October 8, 2015
Slavoj Žižek is one of Europe’s most influential intellectuals. His thinking is rooted in the European Enlightenment, with a strong basis on German Idealism, Hegel, Marx, and Lacan.
Žižek writes on a diverse range of topics, including political theory, theology, and psychoanalysis. His lectures and appearances around the globe underline his position as a leading contemporary thinker and cultural theorist. He is valued for his critique of global capitalism and as an intellectual figurehead for the leftist protest movement.
The shock over the terrorist attacks in Paris in January 2015 inspired Žižek to write an essay on Islam and modernism. In it, he addresses the rupture between the Western world’s advocacy for tolerance and the fundamental hatred of Western liberalism within radical Islam. Žižek makes a plea for the West to insist on the legacy of the Enlightenment, with its strengths of criticism and self-reflection. He argues for a renaissance of individual autonomy and the sovereignty of the people.
Slovenian Embassy provided wine at the reception to follow in support of this event.
Moderated by Ulrich Baer, Vice Provost for Faculty, Arts, Humanities and Diversity, New York University. Dr. Baer received his B.A. from Harvard in 1991, and his Ph.D. from Yale in Comparative Literature in 1995, and first joined NYU as assistant professor in NYU's Department of German in 1996. He served as NYU’s Vice Provost for Globalization and Multicultural Affairs from 2007-2011. A widely published author, editor, and translator and recipient of numerous awards and honors, Baer is an expert on modern poetry, literary theory, and photography, and has published extensively on poetry, photography, and issues in contemporary art and culture.
Ambassador Božo Cerar offered welcoming remarks. He previously served as Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to Canada (1997-2001) and Poland (2004), and as Ambassador and Permanent Representative at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Slovenia to NATO (2007-2011). During his career, he was also head of the Department for Europe and North America (1991-1992), Minister Plenipotentiary at the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in London (1992-1996), head of the Minister’s Office (1996-1997), head of the Department for Multilateral Relations (2001), head of Slovenia’s NATO Department (2002-2003) and State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia (2005 - 2006 and 2011 - 2012).
From 2005 to 2006, as well as in 2012 and 2013 prior to his appointment as the Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to the United States, he served as a state secretary/deputy foreign minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia.
Ambassador Cerar holds a bachelors degree in law, a masters in diplomatic studies and a doctorate in international law. In addition to his native Slovenian, he also speaks English, French, Russian, Serbian and basic Greek.
Slavoj Žižek, Ph.D., is a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and a visiting professor at a number of American Universities (Columbia, Princeton, New School for Social Research, New York University, University of Michigan). Slavoj Žižek received his Ph.D. in Philosophy in Ljubljana studying Psychoanalysis. He also studied at the University of Paris. Slavoj Žižek is a cultural critic and philosopher who is internationally known for his innovative interpretations of Jacques Lacan. Slavoj Žižek has been called the ‘Elvis Presley’ of philosophy as well as an 'academic rock star'. He is author of The Indivisible Remainder; The Sublime Object of Ideology; The Metastases of Enjoyment; Looking Awry: Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture; The Plague of Fantasies; and The Ticklish Subject. Slavoj Žižek's work can be characterized as vibrant, full of humor, blatant disregard for distinctions between high and low forms of culture and his work and presence has gathered him critical acclaim as a superstar in the world of contemporary theory.