Critical World
Thinking Globalization Through Popular Culture

Overview and Objectives

Critical World is a virtual research laboratory that explores the relationship between popular culture and globalization.  As a web-based experiment in project-oriented teaching and research, Critical World provides resources for critical engagement with the products of global popular culture and creates a space for debate about the role of globalization in our everyday lives.

Critical World has three objectives:

  • Encourage critical engagement with the products of global popular culture
  • Increase our knowledge about the way that globalization functions in everyday life
  • Improve access to research and teaching materials on popular culture and globalization

The multi-media modules presented in Critical World are organized around three distinct but related principles:  non-linearity (the idea that web-based learning does not necessarily follow the linear reading path pre-determined by the structure of the written text), intermediality (the way that different media interact with each other to suggest novel meanings), and free association (the practice of spontaneously associating thoughts, feelings, and words without recourse to logic).

Critical World includes the participation of professors, researchers, students and artists from various cultural backgrounds and disciplinary perspectives and is based in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Montreal.  Critical World has been online since September 2004 and received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).