Critical World
Thinking Globalization Through Popular Culture

Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is Critical World?
  • How can I use Critical World in my teaching?
  • Is it possible to submit material to Critical World?
  • Does Critical World offer any training opportunities?


What is Critical World?

Critical World is a virtual research laboratory that began as a research project about world music and expanded its focus to explore the relationship between popular culture and globalization in general.  As a web-based experiment in 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.


How can I use Critical World in my teaching?

Though Critical World is primarily intended for university-level instruction, it can also be used in other educational settings (secondary schools, arts schools, or specialized training institutes).  Assuming that you have access to a video projector and an internet connection, projects can be used in teaching as units in themselves, or if you prefer, some part of a project can be used to complement other material being presented in class.

If the project you are teaching involves an area of your expertise, and if you have material that you would like to add or contribute, it is relatively easy for us to add your material to the project.  This saves you the trouble of having to prepare the material, and seeing your material with other sources on the same topic could be a source of motivation for students in your class.  It also makes it possible for you and your students to interact with people doing research on similar topics.

Professors and students can participate in a particular project by sending a written response to the author of the project via the comments section at the end of each project.  It is also possible to organize a group of students to research and compile a research project on particular topic of interest. In this situation, the professor acts as the liaison between the students and Critical World, and plays an editorial role in the project before it is sent to Critical World for approval. We encourage your suggestions and ideas about how Critical World can be used (or has been used) in the classroom.


Is it possible to submit material to Critical World?

Critical World accepts original submissions from researchers, teachers, students and artists.  Contributions can take the form of original artwork, photography, sound of various types and texts or reviews.  We welcome ideas for adding material to a particular project, or for creating a totally new project.  Here are some ideas for different types of material that can be published on Critical World:

Projects can be proposed by anyone interested in participating in Critical World.  Because the project has a research mission, your proposition will be reviewed before being accepted, but there are members of our team who can work with you to develop your ideas and ensure that they correspond to the format and criteria of Critical World.  For project guidelines, click here.

The keywords approach, pioneered by the British literary scholar and cultural critic Raymond Williams, represents a dynamic set of critical intellectual tools and methods for understanding the relationship between language and ideology.  In this section of Critical World, we hope to encourage critical thought about the keywords that circulate around the production of knowledge with regards to globalization and music. Williams’s methodology is applied to a number of different semantic clusters that can be integrated into our thinking and writing.

We are currently working on teleconferencing technology that will enable us to hold live teleconferences involving participants from anywhere in the world.  All that will be required is a good internet connection and a web-cam.  If you have an idea for a debate, roundtable, or panel discussion, or would like to broadcast an interview or conversation with an important personality from your region, click here for more information.

We strongly encourage multi-media reviews of albums, concerts, artwork and performances.  Reviews can take the same form as other projects created for Critical World.  You can consult with our production team if you need help preparing the different media.  If you would like to contribute a review of this type, click here.


Does Critical World offer any training opportunities?

In the past we have hosted student interns and post-doctoral research fellows.  We do not have the resources necessary to fund such activities, but we can supervise and host individuals who are able to provide their own funding.