Slavoj Zizek is regarded as one of the pre-eminent European cultural theorists of the last decade. His growing body of work has generated considerable controversy and transformed the way we think about issues of popular culture and politics. This volume provides a critical reflection on Zizek's ideas and his intellectual itinerary. As well as bringing a Zizekian analysis to a discussion of the cultural and social aspects of nationhood in New Zealand and the Southern hemisphere, it will provide readers with new material and fresh perspectives on Zizek's thinking on psychoanalysis, multiculturalism, television and the new media, ethics and politics. It is proposed that Zizek's arresting, and at times scandalous, re-elaboration of psychoanalytical theory and his critique of ideology will open the way for a new understanding of social conflict.
From Z to A contains approaches that are challenging and fascinating: What really happened when Paul Holmes interviewed Dennis Connor? Why do we watch reality TV? Is the Treaty of Waitangi a fraud? Why has Peter Ellis come to represent par excellence the figure of sexual threat to children? Why does Ada in Jane Campion's 'The Piano' send a love letter to Baines who cannot read? What psychic mechanisms of nationalism are displayed in British football hooliganism? How did Western orientalism shape Japanese national identity? Why is the discourse of nationhood in the United States always structured around a central void or impossibility?
The range of topics demonstrates both the power of Zizek's formulations and the light they can shed on our world.