COVID-19: Approaching the In-Human

BLACK, Jack (2020). COVID-19: Approaching the In-Human. Contours: Journal of the SFU Humanities Institute (10), 1-10.

Black (2020r) Uploaded Version.pdf - Accepted Version
All rights reserved.

Download (261kB) | Preview
Official URL:
Related URLs:


    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 is on this basis that the virus confers a confrontation with the Real: an antagonism steered by the isolation of an “impossible phenomenon,” grounded in a certain level of “disengagement” that obliges us to “perceive reality as it were viewed from outside.” (Zizek, 2020). Importantly, this “view from outside” does not—and now, cannot—avoid our engagement with the impossible, but must instead be rendered via a form of approachment that conceives of the “virus” as an in-human phenomenon that is our universal condition. The following sections will serve to clarify this in-human approach.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Politics and Policy Research Group; Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute; Sport Industry Research Centre; Humanities Research Centre
    Page Range: 1-10
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2020 16:58
    Last Modified: 17 Dec 2020 16:58

    Actions (login required)

    View Item View Item


    Downloads per month over past year

    View more statistics