Video of a paper delivered by Žižek titled Is Hegel Dead—Or Are We Dead in the Eyes of Hegel? by Deutsches Haus and the Department of German at New York University at Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Film Center, New York on Wednesday, 14th October 2015 recorded by Laia Cabrera & Co. and sponsored by DAAD—the German academic student exchange service.
The question we should ask is not: “is Hegel still alive”, is his thought of any use for us today? The true question is: what are we—our global capitalist world—in the eyes of Hegel? What if, from the Hegelian standpoint, we are all dead—in what sense? Wolf Bierman once wrote that, while the spiritualist question is “Is there life after death?” the materialist question is: “Is there life before death?” Are we really alive today, alive in the sense of ecstatic opening which makes life worth living?
Slavoj Žižek is a Philosopher and psychoanalytic social theorist. He is Senior Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana; Professor at the School of Law and Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London; Distinguished Scholar at the Kyung Hee University, Seoul; and Visiting Professor at the German Department, New York University. His field of work comprises Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, dialectical-materialist metaphysical interpretations of German Idealism and Marxian critique of ideology. His more than sixty books in English have been widely translated. His latest publications include Pandemic! & Pandemic! 2, Hegel in a Wired Brain, Sex and the Failed Absolute, Like A Thief In Broad Daylight, Reading Marx, Incontinence of the Void, and The Day After the Revolution.
Avital Ronell is University Professor in the Humanities and in the Departments of German and Comparative Literature at New York University. Her research spans the fields of literary studies, psychoanalysis, feminist philosophy, political philosophy, and ethics. As Jacques Derrida Professor of Philosophy, she also teaches regularly at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Among her recent books are Loser Sons: Politics and Authority; The Test Drive and Stupidity.