Friday, December 09, 2011


by Karl Steel

David Hadbawnik has posted a call for submissions for a special issue of the journal Kadar Koli that engages "with the relation between violence and contemporary poetry." I'm enthusiastically amplifying this CFP for what looks to me like a great project. The journal wants poetry, short critical statements, longer essays, and visual arts, by JANUARY 15. Look here for more.

On the question of violence: at dinner the other day, my wife asked me why Zizek used the terms "subjective" and "objective" rather than, say, "personal" and "systemic" in his analysis of violence. The only answer I had--and it was a pathetically bad one--was that it might have something to do with Hegel. Any ideas, world?

EDIT: 10:40am. occurred to me that not everyone has read Zizek on violence. To help, see here and here for some screenshots of the appropriate pages from my How to Make a Human that might clarify matters.


Jeffrey Cohen said...

Wow, that looks great.

Funny, I've been wrestling with subjective and objective when applied to aesthetics. Subjective = personal AND cultural (that is, historicist). Objective I think is less person and culture bound, and opens up the possibility of a limited universalism. It is also the only way to examine aesthetics as an object -- something with its own interests and mysteries, potentially indifferent to the human.

Brad Stabler said...

Subjective/personal is possibly better thought of as interpersonal. An encounter between individuals wherein one of the final results happens to be the demarcation of the two individuals from each other (in a painful manner). Objective/systemic, on the other hand, creates the object out of the victim. There is an elimination of personal affect, desire, hatred, etc. influencing the decision to perpetrate (or not) violence as the victim becomes "less" than the perpetrator.