34 found
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  1. Desire, Drive and the Melancholy of English Football: 'It's (not) Coming Home'.Jack Black - 2023 - In Will Roberts, Stuart Whigham, Alex Culvin & Daniel Parnell (eds.), Critical Issues in Football: A Sociological Analysis of the Beautiful Game. Taylor & Francis. pp. 53--65.
    In 2021, the men’s English national football team reached their first final at a major international tournament since winning the World Cup in 1966. This success followed their previous achievement of reaching the semi-finals (knocked-out by Croatia) at the 2018 World Cup. True to form, the defeats proved unfalteringly English; with the 2021 final echoing previous tournament defeats, as England lost to Italy on penalties. However, what resonated with the predictability of an English defeat, was the accompanying chant, ‘it’s coming (...)
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  2. The Psychosis of Race: A Lacanian Approach to Racism and Racialization.Jack Black - 2023 - Abingdon: Routledge.
    The Psychosis of Race offers a unique and detailed account of the psychoanalytic significance of race, and the ongoing impact of racism in contemporary society. Moving beyond the well-trodden assertion that race is a social construction, and working against demands that simply call for more representational equality, The Psychosis of Race explores how the delusions, anxieties, and paranoia that frame our race relations can afford new insights into how we see, think, and understand race's pervasive appeal. With examples drawn from (...)
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  3. Just a game? Sport and psychoanalytic theory.Jack Black & Joseph S. Reynoso - 2024 - Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society (xx):xx-xx.
    Sport poses a number of important and no less significant questions, which, on the face of it, may not necessarily seem very important or significant to begin with – a peculiarity that we believe to be integral to sport itself. This article introduces, explores and outlines the psychoanalytic significance of this peculiarity. It explores how the emotions stirred by sport are intertwined with a realm of fiction and fantasy. Despite its lack of practical utility, sport carries an undeniable gravity, encapsulating (...)
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  4.  44
    Race, Racism and Political Correctness in Comedy - A Psychoanalytic Exploration.Jack Black - 2021 - Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
    In what ways is comedy subversive? This vital new book critically considers the importance of comedy in challenging and redefining our relations to race and racism through the lens of political correctness. -/- By viewing comedy as both a constitutive feature of social interaction and as a necessary requirement in the appraisal of what is often deemed to be ‘politically correct’, this book provides an innovative and multidisciplinary approach to the study of comedy and popular culture. In doing so, it (...)
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  5. "Love Thy Social Media!": Hysteria and the Interpassive Subject.Jack Black - 2022 - CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 24 (4):1--10.
    According to the 2020 docudrama, The Social Dilemma, our very addiction to “social media” has, today, become encapsulated in the tensions between its facilitation as a mode of interpersonal communication and as an insidious conduit for machine learning, surveillance capitalism and manipulation. Amidst a variety of interviewees – many of whom are former employees of social media companies – the documentary finishes on a unanimous conclusion: something must change. By using the docudrama as a pertinent example of our “social media (...)
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  6. Posthuman to Inhuman: mHealth Technologies and the Digital Health Assemblage.Jack Black & Jim Cherrington - 2022 - Theory and Event 25 (4):726--750.
    In exploring the intra-active, relational and material connections between humans and non- humans, proponents of posthumanism advocate a questioning of the ‘human’ beyond its traditional anthropocentric conceptualization. By referring specifically to controversial developments in mHealth applications, this paper critically diverges from posthuman accounts of human/non-human assemblages. Indeed, we argue that, rather than ‘dissolving’ the human subject, the power of assemblages lie in their capacity to highlight the antagonisms and contradictions that inherently affirm the importance of the subject. In outlining this (...)
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  7. A Hole that Does not Speak: Covid, Catastrophe and the Impossible.Jack Black - 2022 - Philosophy World Democracy (xx):1-13.
    Covid-19 presents itself as a strange catastrophe. It has neither destroyed the planet nor has it erased humanity… but it has, in many ways, served to upend and alter what was previously considered ‘normal.’ As a result, what is perhaps the most notable characteristic of the Covid catastrophe is the very way it endures. Beyond any notion of catastrophic shock, the Covid catastrophe continues, indeed, it lingers in daily news cycles, changes to working environments and restrictions on travel. It is (...)
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  8. The dialectic of desire: AI chatbots and the desire not to know.Jack Black - 2023 - Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society 28 (4):607--618.
    Exploring the relationship between humans and AI chatbots, as well as the ethical concerns surrounding their use, this paper argues that our relations with chatbots are not solely based on their function as a source of knowledge, but, rather, on the desire for the subject not to know. It is argued that, outside of the very fears and anxieties that underscore our adoption of AI, the desire not to know reveals the potential to embrace the very loss AI avers. Consequently, (...)
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  9. 'Let the tournament for the Woke begin!': Euro 2020 and the Reproduction of Cultural Marxist Conspiracies in Online Criticisms of the 'Take the Knee' Protest.Jack Black, Thomas Fletcher, Mark Doidge, Colm Kearns, Daniel Kilvington, Katie Liston, Theo Lynn, Pierangelo Rosati & Gary Sinclair - 2023 - Ethnic and Racial Studies (xx):xx-xx.
    Exploring online criticisms of the ‘take the knee’ protest during ‘Euro 2020’, this article examines how alt- and far-right conspiracies were both constructed and communicated via the social media platform, Twitter. By providing a novel exploration of alt-right conspiracies during an international football tournament, a qualitative thematic analysis of 1,388 original tweets relating to Euro 2020 was undertaken. The findings reveal how, in criticisms levelled at both ‘wokeism’ and the Black Lives Matter movement, antiwhite criticisms of the ‘take the knee’ (...)
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  10. On Reflexive Racism: Disavowal, Deferment, and the Lacanian Subject.Jack Black - 2020 - Diacritics 48 (4):76-101.
    The term ‘reflexivity’ continues to maintain an interpretive hegemony in discussions on modernity and the Self. As a form of praxis, applications of reflexivity frequently rely upon an acknowledged awareness of one’s self-conscious attitudes, dispositions, behaviors and motives. This paper will take aim at such contentions, exploring the extent to which examples of racism rely upon a level of reflexivity, best encapsulated in Žižek’s ‘reflexive racism’. Specifically, it is highlighted how examples of non- racism/anti-racism assert the formal promotion of a (...)
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  11. Success in failure: from the destruction of the tragic to the self-negation of the comic.Jack Black - 2023 - Crisis and Critique 10 (2):30--54.
    This essay explores the interrelationship between tragedy and comedy, with specific focus given to the potential that comedy can provide in transforming the most tragic of situations. In building this claim, the very dynamics and distinctions that divide the tragic from the comic are considered in view of the self-negation that the comic posits. That is, while tragedy requires a certain acceptance of the finite, from which destiny and circumstance come to certify the hero’s tragic predicament, in comedy, what succeeds (...)
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  12. COVID-19: Approaching the In-Human.Jack Black - 2020 - Contours: Journal of the SFU Humanities Institute (10):1-10.
    What the COVID-19 pandemic serves to reveal is the inherent limitations and contradictions of a symbolic order that must now be perceived via an “impossible subjectivity”: what this essay will refer to as the “in-human.” (Zizek, 2020). Indeed, this in-human perspective transpires not through our fetishization of the virus, as some form of justification for humanity’s impact on the world, but from a position of impossibility that renders “the whole situation into which we are included.” (Monbiot, 2020; Zizek, 2020). It (...)
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  13. The Electric Mountain Bike as Pharmakon: Examining the Problems and Possibilities of an Emerging Technology.Jim Cherrington & Jack Black - 2023 - Mobilities 18 (6):1000-1015.
    In the last decade there has been an upsurge in the popularity of electric mountain bikes. However, opinion is divided regarding the implications of this emerging technology. Critics warn of the dangers they pose to landscapes, habitats, and ecological diversity, whilst advocates highlight their potential in increasing the accessibility of the outdoors for riders who would otherwise be socially and/or physically excluded. Drawing on interview data with 30 electric mountain bike users in England, this paper represents one of the first (...)
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  14. Sport and the 'National Thing': Exploring Sport's Emotive Significance.Jack Black - 2021 - Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics 24 (11):1956-1970.
    This article critically details how the work of Slavoj Žižek theoretically elaborates on the links between nationalism and sport. Notably, it highlights how key terms, drawn from Žižek’s work on fantasy, ideology and the Real (itself grounded in the work of Jacques Lacan), can be used to explore the relationship between sport, nationalism and enjoyment (jouissance). In outlining this approach, specific attention is given to Žižek’s account of the ‘national Thing’. Accordingly, by considering the various ways in which sport organizes, (...)
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  15. Running Away From the Taskscape: Ultramarathon as 'Dark Ecology'.Jim Cherrington, Jack Black & Nicholas Tiller - 2020 - Annals of Leisure Research 23 (2):243-263.
    Drawing on reflections from a collaborative autoethnography, this article argues that ultramarathon running is defied by a 'dark' ecological sensibility (Morton 2007, 2010, 2016), characterised by moments of pain, disgust, and the macabre. In contrast to existing accounts, we problematise the notion that runners 'use' nature for escape and/or competition, while questioning the aesthetic-causal relationships often evinced within these accounts. With specific reference to the discursive, embodied, spatial and temporal aspects of the sport, we explore the way in which participants (...)
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  16. The Appearance of Authority in Health and Wellbeing Media: Analysing Digital Guru Media through Lacan's 'big Other'.Jack Black - 2022 - In Stefan Lawrence (ed.), Digital Wellness, Health and Fitness Influencers: Critical Perspectives on Digital Guru Media. Routledge. pp. 33-51.
    Alongside the increasing popularity of digital, ‘social’ media platforms, has been the emergence of self-styled digital life-coaches, many of whom seek to propagate their knowledge of and interests in a variety of topics through online social networks (such as, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, etc.). With many of these ‘social influencers’ garnering a large online following, their popularity, social significance and cultural impact offers important insights into the place and purpose of the subject in our digital media environment. Accordingly, this chapter will (...)
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  17. "A form of socially acceptable insanity": Love, Comedy and the Digital in Her.Jack Black - 2021 - Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society 26 (1):25-45.
    In Spike Jonze’s Her (2013), we watch the film’s protagonist, Theodore, as he struggles with the end of his marriage and a growing attachment to his artificially intelligent operating system, Samantha. While the film remains unique in its ability to cinematically portray the Lacanian contention that “there is no sexual relationship,” this article explores how our digital non-relationships can be re-approached through the medium of comedy. Specifically, when looked at through a comic lens, notable scenes from Her are examined for (...)
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  18. The subjective and objective violence of terrorism: analysing 'British values' in newspaper coverage of the 2017 London Bridge attack.Jack Black - 2019 - Critical Studies on Terrorism 12 (2):228-249.
    This article examines how Žižek’s analysis of “subjective” violence can be used to explore the ways in which media coverage of a terrorist attack is contoured and shaped by less noticeable forms of “objective” (symbolic and systemic) violence. Drawing upon newspaper coverage of the 2017 London Bridge attack, it is noted how examples of “subjective” violence were grounded in the externalization of a clearly identifiable “other”, which symbolically framed the terrorists and the attack as tied to and representative of the (...)
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  19. Football is "the most important of the least important things": The Illusion of Sport and COVID-19.Jack Black - 2021 - Leisure Sciences 43 (1/2):97-103..
    In his book, On the Pleasure Principle in Culture (2014), Robert Pfaller argued that our relationship to sport is one grounded in “illusion”. Simply put, our interest in and enjoyment of sport occurs through a process of “knowing better”. Here, one’s knowledge of the unimportance of sport is achieved by associating the illusion of sport with a naïve observer – i.e. someone who does believe in sport’s importance. In the wake of the global pandemic, COVID-19, it would seem that Pfaller’s (...)
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  20. Retroactive causation and the temporal construction of news: contingency and necessity, content and form.Jack Black - 2021 - Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory 22 (1):44-59.
    This article affords particular attention to the relationship between memory, the narrativization of news and its linear construction, conceived as journalism’s ‘memory- work’. In elaborating upon this ‘work’, it is proposed that the Hegelian notion of retroactive causation (as used by Slavoj Žižek) can examine how analyses of news journalists ‘retroactively’ employ the past in the temporal construction of news. In fact, such retroactive (re)ordering directs attention to the ways in which journalists contingently select ‘a past’ to confer meaning on (...)
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  21. An Unnerving Otherness: English Nationalism and Rusedski's Smile.Jack Black, Robert J. Lake & Thomas Fletcher - 2021 - Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society 26 (4):452-472.
    In view of scholarly work that has explored the socio-psycho significance of national performativity, the body and the “other,” this article critically analyses newspaper representations of the Canadian-born British tennis player Greg Rusedski. Drawing on Lacanian interpretations of the body, it illustrates how Rusedski’s media framing centered on a particular feature of his body—his “smile.” In doing so, we detail how Rusedski’s “post-imperial” Otherness—conceived as a form of “extimacy” (extimité)—complicated any clear delineation between “us” and “them,” positing instead a dialectical (...)
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  22. Slipping on banana skins and falling through bars: 'True' comedy and the comic character.Jack Black - 2021 - Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies 3 (3):110-121.
    From Basil Fawlty, The Little Tramp and Frank Spencer; to Jim Carey, Andy Kaufman and Rowan Atkinson... comedy characters and comic actors have proved useful lenses for exploring—and exposing—humor’s cultural and political significance. Both performing as well as chastising cultural values, ideas and beliefs, the comic character gives a unique insight into latent forms of social exclusion that, in many instances, can only ever be approached through the comic form. It is in examining this comic form that this paper will (...)
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  23. 'I Am (big) M(Other)': Lacan’s big Other and the Role of Cynicism in Grant Sputore's I Am Mother.Jack Black - 2020 - Free Associations: Psychoanalysis and Culture, Media, Groups, Politics (80):121-131.
    How can one make sense of our current political, ecological and technological dilemmas through the lens of Grant Sputore’s I Am Mother (2019)? Well-received, the film has been commended for its account of the increasing role and impact of artificial intelligence and its relation to our ongoing ecological dilemmas and potential catastrophe. While these issues are played-out through the on-screen relationship between robotic mother and human daughter, the film can also be used to help shed light on our current ideological (...)
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  24. Temporal Ontology in Ecology: Developing an ecological awareness through time, temporality and the past-present parallax.Jack Black & Jim Cherrington - 2021 - Environmental Philosophy 18 (1):41-63.
    Theoretical applications of time and temporality remain a key consideration for both climate scientists and the humanities. By way of extending this importance, we critically examine Timothy Morton’s proposed “ecological awareness” alongside Slavoj Žižek’s “parallax view”. In doing so, the article introduces a “past-present parallax” in order to contest that, while conceptions of the past are marked by “lack”, equally, our conceptions of and relations to Nature remain grounded in an ontological incompleteness, marked by contingency. This novel approach presents an (...)
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  25. "You Ain't Gonna Get Away Wit' This, Django": Fantasy, Fiction and Subversion in Quentin Tarantino's, Django Unchained.Jack Black - 2019 - Quarterly Review of Film and Video 36 (7):611-637.
    From 2009 to 2015, U.S. director, Quentin Tarantino, released three films that were notable for their focus on particular historical events, periods and individuals (Inglorious Basterds 2009; Django Unchained 2012; The Hateful Eight 2015). Together, these films offered a specifically “Tarantinian” rendering of history: rewriting, manipulating and, for some, unethically deploying history for aesthetic effect. With regard to Django Unchained, this article examines how Tarantino’s historical revisionism provides a valuable point of inquiry into the ways in which “history” is depicted (...)
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  26. 'Success in Britain comes with an awful lot of small print': Greg Rusedski and the precarious performance of national identity.Jack Black, Thomas Fletcher & Robert J. Lake - 2020 - Nations and Nationalism 4 (26):1104-1123.
    Sport continues to be one of the primary means through which notions of Englishness and Britishness are constructed, contested, and resisted. The legacy of the role of sport in the colonial project of the British Empire, combined with more recent connections between sport and far right fascist/nationalist politics, has made the association between Britishness, Englishness, and ethnic identity(ies) particularly intriguing. In this paper, these intersections are explored through British media coverage of the Canadian‐born, British tennis player, Greg Rusedski. This coverage (...)
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  27. COVID-19 and the Real Impossible.Jack Black - 2020 - International Journal of Žižek Studies 14 (2).
    This article approaches the COVID-19 pandemic as an inherently antagonistic phenomenon. To do so, it carries forward the philosophical contentions that Žižek outlines in his Pandemic! COVID-19 Shakes the World, as well as his wider work. With reference to the parallax Real and McGowan’s Hegelian contradiction, it is demonstrated that Žižek’s philosophical premises hold a unique importance in politically confronting COVID-19. Indeed, by drawing specific attention to the various ways in which our confrontations with the Real expose the limitations of (...)
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  28. 'Nature doesn't care that we're there': Re-Symbolizing Nature's 'Natural' Contingency.Jack Black & Jim Cherrington - 2020 - International Journal of Žižek Studies 14 (1).
    This article draws upon the work of Timothy Morton and Slavoj Žižek in order to critically examine how mountain bike trail builders orientated themselves within nature relations. Beginning with a discussion of the key ontological differences between Morton’s object-oriented ontology and Žižek’s blend of Hegelian-Lacanianism, we explore how Morton’s dark ecology and Žižek’s account of the radical contingency of nature, can offer parallel paths to achieving an ecological awareness that neither idealises nor mythologises nature, but instead, acknowledges its strange and (...)
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  29. Conviviality and parallax in David Olusoga’s Black and British: A Forgotten History.Jack Black - 2019 - European Journal of Cultural Studies 22 (5-6):979-995.
    Through examining the BBC television series, Black and British: A Forgotten History, written and presented by the historian David Olusoga, and in extending Paul Gilroy’s assertion that the everyday banality of living with difference is now an ordinary part of British life, this article considers how Olusoga’s historicization of the Black British experience reflects a convivial rendering of UK multiculture. In particular, when used alongside Žižek’s notion of parallax, it is argued that understandings of convivial culture can be supported by (...)
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  30.  14
    Introduction: Sport and physical activity in catastrophic environments – Tuning to the 'weird' and the 'eerie'.Jim Cherrington & Jack Black - 2022 - In Jim Cherrington & Jack Black (eds.), Sport and Physical Activity in Catastrophic Environments. Routledge. pp. 1--18.
    In challenging orthodox notions of space, place, and identity, as well as examining how new ideas, communities and ways of living might emerge from the ruins of catastrophe, this Introduction Chapter outlines the importance of the collection. We introduce Mark Fisher’s weird and eerie distinctions, emphasising how both terms, when applied to catastrophe, demand new ways of thinking that go beyond what we know about disasters in order to recalibrate our bodies and minds to thrive in an era without precedent. (...)
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  31.  16
    Sport and Physical Activity in Catastrophic Environments.Jim Cherrington & Jack Black (eds.) - 2022 - Routledge.
    This book considers the ability of individuals and communities to maintain healthy relationships with their surroundings—before, during and after catastrophic events—through physical activity and sporting practices. -/- Broad and ambitious in scope, this book uses sport and physical activity as a lens through which to examine our catastrophic societies and spaces. Acknowledging that catastrophes are complex, overlapping phenomena in need of sophisticated, interdisciplinary solutions, this book explores the social, economic, ecological and moral injustices that determine the personal and emotional impact (...)
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  32.  24
    Spectres of Nature in the Trail Building Assemblage.Jim Cherrington & Jack Black - 2019 - International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure 3:71-93.
    Through research that was conducted with mountain bike trail builders, this article explores the processes by which socio-natures or ‘emergent ecologies’ are formed through the assemblage of trail building, mountain bike riding and matter. In moving conversations about ‘Nature’ beyond essentialist readings and dualistic thinking, we consider how ecological sensibilities are reflected in the complex, lived realities of the trail building community. Specifically, we draw on Morton’s (2017) notion of the ‘symbiotic real’ to examine how participants connect with a range (...)
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  33. Review of the book Algorithmic Desire: Toward a New Structuralist Theory of Social Media, by Matthew Flisfeder. [REVIEW]Jack Black - 2023 - Postdigital Science and Education (x):xx-xx.
    It is this very contention that sits at the heart of Matthew Flisfeder’s, Algorithmic Desire: Towards a New Structuralist Theory of Social Media (2021). In spite of the accusation that, today, our social media is in fact hampering democracy and subjecting us to increasing forms of online and offline surveillance, for Flisfeder (2021: 3), ‘[s]ocial media remains the correct concept for reconciling ourselves with the structural contradictions of our media, our culture, and our society’. With almost every aspect of our (...)
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  34.  9
    Book Review: Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School, by Stuart Jeffries. Verso, 2016. [REVIEW]Jack Black - 2019 - Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture and Society 31 (4):532-535.
    This review considers Stuart Jeffries’s Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School. Providing a detailed account of the work and lives of the Frankfurt School, Jeffries is commended for his ability to present an illustrative biography of the school’s members and associates as well as the variety of topics that their work engaged with. However, while Jefferies manages to merge biography and academic theory in a readable and at times detailed and engaging narrative, such work is undermined by (...)
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