The Menon-Źižek Debate: "The Tale of the (Never-marked) (But secretly coded) Universal and the (Always marked) Particular…"
Slavic Review: Interdisciplinary Quarterly of Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies
On occasion of his first lecture tour of India in 2010, Źižek sparked off a debate with Nivedita Menon, a leading postcolonial feminist scholar. The debate revolves around Menon's contention that Źižek's emphasis on European, Christian Universalism as the most proactive model for countering capitalism is ignorant of the heteroglossiac postcolonial histories of South Asia. Menon's response ("The Two Źižeks") suggests that what Źižek appears to be missing is knowledge of the fallibility of
... llibility of Eurocentric discourses in negotiating the colonial and postcolonial situations particular to the subcontinent. Though Źižek's debates with Badiou and Butler are well known, few outside India are aware of the Menon-Źižek debate. This paper will occasion this little known debate to consider some of the major points raised by Menon against the applicability of Źižek's theoretical arguments toward reading and understanding postcolonial politics and culture.