Exploring the power of the imagination in an age of crisis


The imagination is the most powerful force humans have at their disposal to address a world plagued by environmental, social and economic challenges. But the imagination is not just something that gifted individuals possess. It’s a shared, social phenomenon that emerges from and helps shape how we work together.
Photo of Dr. Max Haiven, CRC in Culture, Media and Social Justice

Dr. Max Haiven

Canada Research Chair in the radical Imagination (Tier 2)

Areas of Research

  • Culture and capitalism
  • Social movements
  • Imagination and society
  • Critical theory
  • Globalization

Overview of Research

Through international collaborations with artists, activists and scholars, Dr. Haiven’s research explores how the imagination can be mobilized by ordinary people to address some of today’s gravest problems. On the one hand, he and his colleagues explore the way the fate of the imagination in world of vast and growing inequality, including the way economic hardship, debt and systems of oppression undermine our capacity to envision and struggle for better futures. On the other, Haiven’s work focuses on the power of the radical imagination as a force for social, economic and political change in the past, the present and the future. 

Photo of Anishinaabe two-spirit elder Ma-Nee Chacby speaks at an event, organized by RiVAL: The ReImagining Value Action Lab in Thunder Bay about Indigenous land struggles and the importance of decolonization.

Dr. Haiven's research exemplifies Lakehead University's commitment to advancing the following United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

UN SDG 1 - No Poverty LogoUN SDG 2 - Zero HungerUN SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic GrowthUN SDG 10 - Reduced InequalitiesUN SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesUN SDG 13 - Climate ActionUN SDG 16 - Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Contact Information:
Dr. Max Haiven
Associate Professor
Department of English
Tel.: 807-343-8010 Ext. 8282