ABOUT ME AND MY WORK

 

 

I am a cultural philosopher, writer, and lecturer in Media and Communication at Glasgow Caledonian University. I am interested in ways in which we interact with our society, and particularly how our identities are shaped by our environment. The questions I ask in my books and articles are simple but topical, and are all linked to the issue of self-definition: 

 

  • How does the contemporary individual find his or her own unique path in the world full of choices and possibilities? 

  • How do media and technology influence human identity?

  • What does it mean to be 'authentic' when one is surrounded by replicated images? Does a 'genuine personality' exist or are we all, as the protagonist of Fight Club famously put it, 'a copy of a copy of a copy'?

  • How do we relate to others in the world full of strangers?

  • Are social networks capable of reproducing real intimacy? 

  • Are individuals becoming more narcissistic? Do they expect others to behave like objects rather than people?

  • Does the individual prefer to imitate others instead of discovering his or her own way in life?

 

I find that the easiest way to discuss these issues is through images - and particularly through films and television programmes. Even though my PhD is in English, I prefer to write about visual rather than printed narratives. Today we are surrounded by images, we get inspired by them, and they also feed off us. In my books I use a combination of media studies, film theory, psychoanalysis, anthropology and sociology. All the while, I try to keep my writing as transparent, accessible and jargon-free as I can, because I believe that philosophy is for everyone, and not just for the 'chosen few'. After all, it discusses the issues that concern us all. It should not be elitist. 

 

My interest in the relationship between the individual and society comes from my background: I was born in the Soviet Union and have a first-hand experience of deindividualization and collective influence. Yet I also believe that these phenomena exist in Western societies, and that we should be vigilant lest they start shaping our lives.

 

All my books are about the individual's interaction with the environment; but I am particularly interested in the figure of the trickster because it reflects our ability to retain independence in the face of authority, rigid social order and any enemies of change. 

 

 

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