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Professor Fabio Vighi

Professor Fabio Vighi

Professor of Italian and Critical Theory

School of Modern Languages

+44 (0)29 2087 5605
2.05, 66a Park Place, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3AS


My research focuses on critical theory, theoretical psychoanalysis and film, as reflected in my recent publications, including the following volumes: Crisi di valore: Lacan, Marx e il crepuscolo della societa' del lavoro (Mimesis, 2018); Critical Theory and the Crisis of Contemporary Capitalism (Bloomsbury, 2015; co-authored with Heiko Feldner), States of Crisis and Post-Capitalist Scenarios (Ashgate, 2014; co-edited with Heiko Feldner and Slavoj Žižek), Critical Theory and Film: Rethinking Ideology through Film Noir (Continuum, 2012), On Žižek's Dialectics: Surplus, Subtraction, Sublimation (Continuum, 2010).

My current research projects tackle capitalist crisis from a psychoanalytic perspective, focusing on Jacques Lacan's notion of discourse as social bond. I link this to the analysis of the global challenges currently faced by the capitalist mode of production and social reproduction. Alongside psychoanalysis, I am interested in Hegelian dialectics as a mode of thinking crisis; film as a prominent form of dialectical thinking; and ideology critique as a way to address unconscious or disavowed attachments to social formations. I am co-director of the 'Žižek Centre for Ideology Critique' and warmly welcome enquiries and proposals for postgraduate research on any of the above themes and disciplines

Recent speaking engagements:

19 December 2020: 'Jean Baudrillard and the Ideology of Simulation', at Controversy and Construction of Contemporary Aesthetics Symposium, Zhejiang University, China.

28 October 2019: 'Capitalism without Labour. Hegel, Marx and the Vanishing Dialectic of Capital', invited lecture at University of Vermont, Burlington, USA.

4 March 2019: 'L'estraneita': cinema e psicoanalisi', organised by Jonas Onlus Monza, Capital Cinema, Monza, Italy.

28 November 2018: 'Critical Theory and the Movies', invited lecture at John Felice Rome Centre, Loyola University Chicago.

12 June 2018: 'The value of Marx, 200 years after his birth', at National Assembly for Wales (organised by "Gorwel" Think-Tank).

26 May 2018: 'Da movimento a istituzione', at XVI Jonas Seminar 'Periferie dell'inconscio e legami sociali', 24-26 May, Florence, Italy.

10 May 2018: 'Technological rationality and socio-economic crisis: determinism or dialectics?', at 11th International Critical Theory conference in Rome (John Felice Center of Loyola University Chicago, 10-12 May).

23 November 2017: 'The Feminine Gaze in Michelangelo Antonioni's Cinema', at Chapter Arts Centre, Antonioni Day, Italian Film Festival Cardiff 2017, Cardiff.

6 October 2017: 'Psicoanalisi e Istituzioni', at Jonas Centre (Psychoanalytic Clinic for New Symptoms), Milan, Italy.

14-15 July 2017: 'Capitalism Forever! A Socio-Analytical Perspective on the 2008 Crisis and its Aftermath', at 6th International Marxist Aesthetics Forum, Cardiff University (with Heiko Feldner)

25-26 October 2016: ‘Utopia in a time of crisis: the perverse core of Homo Economicus' at Practicing Utopia in the Intercultural Present conference, Università Statale di Milano, Italy.

23-25 September 2016: ‘The finitude of capitalism and the perverse charm of utopian denial’, at 5th International Marxist Aesthetics Forum, Zhejiang University, China (with Heiko Feldner).

26 September 2016: ‘The Great Denial: Finitude of Capitalism and the Necessity of Work', public lecture, ‘School of Media and Communication’, Zhejiang University, China (with Heiko Feldner).

1-2 June 2016: ‘Crisis: as it happened’ at Thinking of(f) Crisis conference, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (with Heiko Feldner).

22-23 April 2016: ‘The Great Denial’, at Psychoanalysis and Freedom conference, Colorado Springs, USA (with Heiko Feldner).

7 April 2016: ‘'C'è un vuoto nel cosmo': Pasolini tra Adorno e Lacan’; public lecture, Universita' Statale di Milano, Italy.

15 March 2016: ‘Pasolini as a critic of modernity’; public talk, Sussex University.

9 March 2016: ‘Critical Theory and the Crisis of Contemporary Capitalism’, seminar, Cardiff University (with Heiko Feldner).

27-28 October 2015: ‘Pasolini e la crisi della modernità’, at Senza Pasolini conference, Universita' di Messina, Italy.

5-6 June 2015: ‘Enjoy your commitment: reading impegno between the lines’, at What Commitment? Reshaping Impegno in Contemporary Italy conference, University of Kent.

8 April 2015: ‘Discorso del capitalista e plusgodere’; public talk and debate with Italian psychoanalyst Massimo Recalcati, Università di Padova, Italy.

19 March 2015: ‘Zizek and exclusion’, at Zizek, exclusion, migration workshop, Brunel University.

20-22 November 2014: ‘Digging its own grave: Marx, Lacan and the exhaustion of the capitalist drive’, at Karl Marx and Crisis conference, Universita' La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.

13 November 2014: ‘Lacan and discourse theory’; seminar, Cardiff University, Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory.


I came to Cardiff in 2000 from the University of Portsmouth, where I was lecturer in Italian Studies. I obtained my PhD from Reading University in 1999.























Topics routinely taught

  • Borders and Identities in Post-War European Cinema
  • Italian Cinema
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini and postwar Italian culture
  • Adaptations from Literature to Film
  • Postwar Italian history
  • European Cinema (postgraduate)
  • Adaptation Theory (postgraduate)
  • Ideology Critique (postgraduate)
  • Critiques of Capitalist Globalisation (postgraduate)
  • Psychoanalysis & Translation (postgraduate)