fb pixel

Matthew Flisfeder

Matthew Flisfeder Title: Associate Professor
Phone: 204.786.9848
Office: 3G23
Building: Graham Hall
Email: m.flisfeder@uwinnipeg.ca

PhD Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, Ryerson and York Universities, 2010
MA Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture, Ryerson and York Universities, 2005
BA Honours Double Major in Communication Studies and Fine Arts Cultural Studies, York University, 2003

Matthew Flisfeder is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Communications. Prior to joining the Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications, Dr. Flisfeder was an Assistant Professor at Ryerson University.

Dr. Flisfeder has research and teaching interests in rhetoric and ideology, aesthetic theory and ethics, digital and cyberpunk culture, critical studies of social media, popular culture, critical theory, and cultural studies.

Dr. Flisfeder is the author of Algorithmic Desire: Toward a New Structuralist Theory of Social Media (Northwestern University Press, 2021), Postmodern Theory and Blade Runner (Bloomsbury 2017), The Symbolic, the Sublime, and Slavoj Žižek’s Theory of Film (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), and co-editor of Žižek and Media Studies: A Reader (Palgrave Macmillan 2014).

Dr. Flisfeder is currently working on a project funded by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant called, “The Hysterical Sublime: A Critical Study of the Aesthetics, Rhetorics, and Ethics of New Materialist and Posthumanist Critical Theory.” Through a critical examination of New Materialist and Posthumanist critical theory, this project endeavours to produce a new theory of dialectical humanism for theorizing the twin dilemmas of anthropogenic climate change and the displacement of human agency by digital automation and artificial intelligence. Dialectical humanism aims to shift our critical gaze away from contradictory critiques of Anthropocentrism and the “Anthropocene,” and onto the structural contradictions of twenty-first century capitalism, or the “Capitalocene.”https://matthewflisfeder.com/

UW Affiliations:

UW Cultural Studies Research Group (CSRG), Researcher
Centre for Research in Cultural Studies (CRiCS), Advisory Committee
MA in Cultural Studies Graduate Program Committee, Member

FALL 2020

RHET 1120(3): Introduction to Rhetoric and Communications; RHET 2250(3): Communication and Popular Culture


RHET 4151(3)/GENG 7112(3): Critical Theories of Discourse and Ideology

Research Interests:

  • Aesthetic Theory
  • Communication and Media Theory
  • Critical Theory and Cultural Studies
  • Critical Studies of Social
  • Cyberpunk Culture
  • Digital Culture and New Media
  • Film and Visual Culture
  • Ideology and Popular Culture
  • Neoliberalism
  • Popular Culture
  • Posthumanism and New Materialism
  • Postmodernism
  • Rhetoric and Ethics


Sample Publications:


“The trouble with saying ‘it’s okay to be white’” The Conversation Canada. November 19th. https://theconversation.com/the-trouble-with-saying-its-okay-to-be-white-106929. (Republished in the National Post on November 20th, 2018, the Winnipeg Free Press on November 26th, 2018, Films for Action December 5th, 2018).

“End of Sex? End of Cinema? Afterthoughts on Her,” co-authored with Clint Burnham. Afterthoughts and PostscriptsCinema Journal. November 22nd. http://www.cmstudies.org/?page=CJ_after571_FlisBurn.

“Oculus and our troubles with (virtual) reality.” The Conversation Canada. November 13th. https://theconversation.com/oculus-and-our-troubles-with-virtual-reality-87305. (Republished in the National Post on November 14th, 2017, the Ottawa Citizen on November 14th, 2017, SciFi Generation on November 14th, 2017, Business Insider on December 2nd, 2017, and The Atlantic on December 3rd, 2017).


Postmodern Theory and Blade Runner (New York: Bloomsbury, 2017).

Žižek and Media Studies: A Reader, co-edited with Louis-Paul Willis (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

The Symbolic, The Sublime, and Slavoj Žižek’s Theory of Film (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).


“From the Sublime to the Hysterical: Reading the “End of the World” Thesis Against the “General Intellect.” Lacan and the Environment, edited by Clint Burnham and Paul Kingsbury (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).

“Cyberpunk and Blade Runner 2049.” In Anna McFarlane, Graham J. Murphy, and Lars Schmeink, eds., The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture (New York: Routledge, forthcoming).

“Object Oriented Subjectivity: Capitalism and Desire in Blade Runner 2049.” In Calum Neill, ed., Blade Runner 2049: Some Lacanian Thoughts (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).

“The Hysterical Sublime: Black Mirror, Playtest, and the Crises of the Present.” In Angela M. Cirucci and Barry Vacker, eds., Black Mirror and Critical Media Theory (Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2018).


“The Apostle of Reason: Hegel and the Desire for Universal Emancipation in the Twenty-First Century.” CT&T: Continental Thought & Theory, forthcoming.

“Postmodern Marxism Today: Jameson, Žižek, and the Demise of Symbolic Efficiency.” International Journal of Žižek Studies 13.1 (2019): 22-56. http://zizekstudies.org/index.php/IJZS/article/view/1105.

“‘Make America Great Again’ and the Constitutive Loss of Nothingness: An American Nightmare.” Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture 32.5-6 (2018): 647-655. Published online January 15th, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1080/09528822.2018.1559144.

“The Ideological Algorithmic Apparatus: Subjection Before Enslavement.” Theory & Event 21.2 (2018): 457-484.

“‘Trump’ - What does the name signify? or, Protofascism and the Alt-Right: Three Contradictions of the Present Conjuncture” Cultural Politics 14.1 (2018): 1-19.