Skip to main content
 Jac Lewis

Jac Lewis

Research student, School of Modern Languages

Overview

I completed a BA from Exeter University in English and Visual Culture with first class honours in 2018 and then obtained a Masters degree in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2020 with Distinction


My current PhD research explores homesickness as a fundamental experience of modern life - aligning the medical and theoretical histories of nostalgia and ideology from the 17th century to the present to interrogate their co-constitutive roles in the production of human consciousness and affection in the conditions of capitalist modernity, as well as the ramifications and potentialities of nostalgia for posthuman philosophy. I am particularly interested in the intersection of Slavoj Zizek's theory of ideology, Lacanian psychoanalysis and nostalgia studies. 


My research is being funded by the James Pantyfedwen Foundation


In 2018 I was awarded the British Association for American Studies Best Undergraduate Essay prize for 'Lenguage is, that we may mis-unda-stend each udda: The Graphic Modernism of George Herriman's Krazy Kat'.


In 2020 I presented a paper for the conference Viral Masculinities, organised by the University of Exeter, entitled 'Acid Fascism: Decoding the New Man from The Lyman Family to the Alt-Right' 


Research

Research interests

Thesis


A Bruising Ideology: Posthumanity and The Nostalgic Drive


Thesis Summary


I begin with a comparative history of nostalgia and ideology in early modernity to demonstrate the intertwined relationship between these two terms medically, theoretically and socially. I use the modern history of nostalgia to synthesise philosopher Slavoj Zizek's conception of ideology and art historian Carol Mavor's melancholic figure of the bruise, integrating poetics and political philosophy to expose the affective work of ideology in meaningfully shaping our desires and longings. Using this affective philosophy of ideology I then speculate on the ontological problem nostalgia sustains for theories of the 'posthuman', for political strategies of 'Exit' from capitalism and humanism including accelerationism, and the relationship between nostalgia and nihilism. With both terms often reduced to simple pejoratives in political and academic discourse, I hope that my work strengthens and expands the ongoing relevance of nostalgia and ideology as 'twins of modern life' for contemporary philosophy and politics - both in and outside academia. 


My research interests include:



  • Nostalgia

  • Ideology

  • Modernism

  • Fascism and Post-Fascism

  • Accelerationism

  • Affect

  • Slavoj Zizek

  • Mark Fisher

  • Susan Stewart

Supervisors

alt

Heiko Feldner

Reader in German Studies and Critical Theory

Fabio Vighi

Professor Fabio Vighi

Professor of Italian and Critical Theory