Lakehead University’s Dr. Max Haiven renewed as Canada Research Chair in Radical Imagination

Photo of Dr. Max Haiven

Dr. Max Haiven

June 7, 2022 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

The Government of Canada recently renewed Lakehead University’s Dr. Max Haiven as Canada Research Chair in Radical Imagination.

Dr. Haiven is an Associate Professor in English and co-director of Lakehead’s ReImagining Value Action Lab, also known as RiVAL.

“My work is dedicated to helping us recognize that our society is the product of our collective imagination,” he said.

“If we can imagine it into being, we can imagine alternatives. We desperately need alternatives that help us move towards better horizons of social and ecological justice.”

Dr. Haiven continues his innovative research into the power of the imagination to shape society, the economy and politics with a special focus on the opportunities and challenges posed by new media and communication technologies.

His research has three broad objectives. The first is to develop new theories and approaches to inform the interdisciplinary study of the imagination.

The second is to explore new methods for studying and also activating the imagination that bring together academics, artists, arts professionals, activists, and advocates for social justice.

The third is to embrace and experiment with new digital modes for collaborating and communicating.

To meet these objectives, Dr. Haiven is working on an array of independent and collaborative research ventures. His explorations of the global history, politics, economics, and cultures of palm oil synthesizes information from many disciplines. This will advance an innovative theory of race and capitalism in the form of a short book, a podcast, an exhibition, and other multimedia.

In another project, Dr. Haiven will continue using methodologies of participant observation, ethnography, and interviews to learn how diverse activists across Turtle Island (North America) are challenging the way human and non-human life is (de)valued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. By doing so, they are generating new and radical ideas of how to be human on a troubled planet.

“Thank you to the CRC program for their support of this research chair and congratulations to Dr. Max Haiven,” said Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

“One of Lakehead University pillars in our Strategic Plan is Social Accountability. Dr. Haiven’s work is rooted in the media, communication, and literature of social justice. We are really excited to see the outcomes of his research over the period of the research chair,” Dr. Dean said.




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Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2021 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE’s 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit