STEPHEN KOTKIN is the Birkelund Professor of History and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and History department of Princeton University, where he has taught since 1989. He is also a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His most recent book is Stalin, vol. I: Paradoxes of Power. He has also written Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment, with Jan T. Gross; Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse 1970-2000; and Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization. Kotkin has served as vice dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and is again directing Princeton’s Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies program. Outside Princeton, he was the book reviewer for The New York Times Sunday Business section (2006-9) and has worked with George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, Rem Koolhaas, and others as a consultant. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and was a Cullman Center fellow at The New York Public Library in 2004-5.
SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK, born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1949; doctor’s thesis in philosophy and psychoanalysis. Hegelian philosopher, Lacanian psychoanalyst, and Communist political activist. Senior Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana; international director at the Birkbeck School of Law, University of London; visiting professor at the German Department, NYU. Main fields of work: a new reading of the Hegelian dialectics; exercises in critique of ideology (Communism, liberal capitalism, forms of contemporary authoritarianism and racism); cinema theory (studies on Hitchcock, Lynch, Kieslowski); music (Wagner). Author of numerous books on Hegel, Lacan, and contemporary politics and culture. The latest publications: Less Than Nothing, Event , Absolute Recoil ,Trouble in Paradise.