COMEDY FOR THESE TIMES WITH JELA KREČIČ ŽIŽEK AND SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK
The prevailing notion in popular culture today is that only a realist drama can truly address serious turmoil in our world. From superhero movies to TV series, we can trace a certain tragic sentiment that accompanies problems on both subjective and social levels. However, if we take a brief look at the golden era of classical Hollywood, we can see that it is not at all necessary to grasp traumatic events and situations in a serious or even tragic way. Chaplin, Lubitsch, Sturges are all examples of directors who never missed an opportunity to approach economic, social, political crisis through comic lenses. There are three questions to be addressed today. How powerful can comedy be in combat with today’s economic, political and ideological problems? Why do we prefer a tragic approach to a comical one? And, finally, how did the authentic comical spirit survive in recent comedies, in cinema and on TV?
Jela Krečič is a Slovene journalist, columnist and philosopher. She writes for the largest national newspaper Delo, where she notably published an exclusive interview with Julian Assange in 2013. Her philosophical research focuses on films, TV series and aesthetics, and she has conducted several studies on these topics. She has also co-edited a number of anthologies on contemporary TV series and on the German American film director, Ernst Lubitsch. Her essay was published in the English anthology ‘Lubitsch Can’t Wait’ (Columbia University Press, 2014). None Like Her, her literary début, sold out quickly after its publication and was very well received in the media. The English edition was published by Istros Books/Peter Owen (UK, 2016).
Slavoj Žižek is a Slovene philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, Iraq: The Borrowed Kettle, In Defense of Lost Causes, Living in the End Times and many more.
Where: Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies • IERES
The Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University
1957 E Street, NW • Suite 412 • Washington, DC 20052
Tel (202) 994-6340 • Fax (202) 994-5436 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.ieres.org
When: Friday, November 11, 2016
1:00pm –2:30 pm
1957 E St. NW, Room 214
Please RSVP at http://go.gwu.edu/zizek