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[liberationtech] CAMRI seminar 28/1: Clint Burnham on Slavoj Žižek and the Internet

Travis Biehn tbiehn at
Tue Jan 20 09:08:27 PST 2015

Will a feed be made available?


On Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 5:35 AM, Christian Fuchs <christian.fuchs at>

> CAMRI seminar
> Clint Burnham: The Subject Supposed to LOL: Slavoj Žižek and the Event of
> the Internet
> Wed, 28/1, 14:00
> Univ of Westminster
> Harrow Campus
> Room A7.01
> Registration is possible by e-mail to christian.fuchs at
> burnham-the-subject-supposed-to-lol-slavoj-iek-and-the-
> event-of-the-internet
> Is the Internet an Event? Does it constitute, as Žižek argues an Event
> should, a reframing of our experience, a retroactive re-ordering of
> everything we thought we knew about the social but were afraid to ask
> Facebook?
> In this talk Clint Burnham will engage with Žižek’s recent work (Less than
> Nothing, Event, Absolute Recoil) as a way to argue, first, that in order to
> understand the Internet, we need Žižek’s “immaterial materialism,” and, in
> turn, to understand Žižek’s thought and how it circulates today, we need to
> think through digital culture and social media. As regards the Internet,
> then, no cynical disavowal, no Facebook cleanses, no shutting off the wifi:
> les non-dupes errent, or those who distance themselves from social media
> and the like are the most deceived. Next: the Internet’s two bodies:
> digital culture is both the material world of servers, clouds, stacks and
> devices and the virtual or affective world of liking, networking, and the
> mirror stage of the selfie. And here we must confront the “obscene
> underside” of digital culture: not only the trolls, 4chan porn, and
> gamergate bro’s, but also the old fashioned exploitation of labour, be it
> iPhone assembly-line workers at Foxconn, super-exploited “blood coltan”
> miners in the Congo, “like farmers” in India, or social media scrubbers in
> the Phillipines, who ensure your feeds are “clean” of porn, beheadings, and
> other #NSFW matter. These last concerns, then, mean we also have to think
> about what Žižek calls the “undoing of the Event” of the Internet, the
> betrayal of the Internet, its diseventalization.
> Clint Burnham teaches in the department of English at Simon Fraser
> University, Vancouver, Canada. He is the author of more than a dozen books
> of criticism, poetry, and fiction, including The Jamesonian Unconscious:
> The Aesthetics of Marxist Theory (1995), The Only Poetry that Matters:
> Reading the Kootenay School of Writing (2011), editor (with Lorna Brown) of
> the public art catalogue Digital Natives (2011), and editor (with Paul
> Budra) of From Text to Txting: New Media in the Classroom (2012). His essay
> “Slavoj Žižek as Internet Philosopher” is in the recent Palgrave collection
> Žižek and Media Studies (eds. Matthew Flisfeder and Louis-Paul Willis), and
> he is currently writing a book on Žižek and digital culture called Does the
> Internet have an Unconscious? In the winter of 2014-15 he is living and
> working in Vienna as part of a residency with the Urban Subjects collective.
> Forthcoming talks (open for registration)
> Feb 4: Marisol Sandoval - From Corporate to Social Media: Critical
> Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility in Media and Communication
> Industries
> marisol-sandoval-from-corporate-to-social-media-critical-perspectives-on-
> corporate-social-responsibility-in-media-and-communication-industries
> Feb 11: Justin Lewis - Beyond Consumer Capitalism: A Movie Screening and
> Q&A with Justin Lewis
> justin-lewis-beyond-consumer-capitalism-a-movie-screening-
> and-q-and-a-with-justin-lewis
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