ISSS Virtual Book Launch – John Schoneboom’s Surrealpolitik: Surreality and the National Security State (April 16).

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 6.30-8pm BST (Please check your own time zone).

Register through Eventbrite here.

John Schoneboom will be joined “in conversation” with novelist Andrew Crumey.

Our times are not just weird, but literally surreal: we live in a paranoid, increasingly authoritarian culture in which the real, the presumed and the purported are indistinguishable strands of a dense hallucinatory web of mediated spectacles. Surrealpolitik takes up cultural theorist Mark Fisher’s challenge to expose capitalist realism’s ‘realism’ as nothing of the sort.

To subject the symbolic order to a surrealist mode of inquiry is to transgress taboos, reveal biases and inconsistencies, test assumptions and investigate the extent to which the real is, like our dreams – a fungible projection of our unconscious expectations. The nexus of dreams, hyperreality, paranoia, totalitarianism, terror, art, myth and culture is where realpolitik becomes the surrealpolitik of the title.

John Schoneboom is the author of the novel Fontoon (Dedalus Books) and a number of plays produced for Off Off Broadway venues. He is the founding editor of Bratum Books’ Uncommonalities series of short stories that share a common first line, to which he also shamelessly contributes his own efforts. His word-collage play Dreams of Jimmy Bannon won the Artists’ Fellowship Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and an extract from a novel under development won a Northern Writers’ Award, supported in part by Arts Council England. His PhD (Northumbria University) was on the terrorism novel in a surrealist mode, and he also holds MAs in creative writing (Northumbria) and science, technology, and international affairs (George Washington University) and a BA focusing on US foreign policy in Central America (Hampshire College). Originally from New York, Schoneboom now resides in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

To buy Surrealpolitik: Surreality and the National Security State, visit here.