The Examined Life Lab at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada is an ongoing, student-led project that has one simple aim: no aspect of life—culture, society, and politics—shall be exempted from analysis and critique.

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new critiques of everyday life

By developing thoughtful inquiries into daily life, which we all too often do not deem worthy of closer inspection, we hope to foster a more active engagement with the world through which we move. If we wish to better understand the big, pressing problems of our time, from climate change to the rise of new authoritarian and right-wing movements, then we must also ask how these problems are connected to culture and everyday life. 

We ask: how does culture shape our understanding of a topic or problem? How do we in turn shape culture? And how does this reciprocal, complex cultural process determine our ability to imagine possible solutions to problems?

Regularly check in on the progress of this website to see student projects in action and to browse through the growing archive of cultural artifacts, commentary, and academic research revolving around a set of research clusters.

Our first research projects and archives will focus on the following research clusters:

  • Nature's Futures: The Cultures of Climate, Environment, and Conservation
  • The New Culture Wars: Neo-Masculinity, Populism, and the New Right-Wing Movements
  • What Is Work Today? New Forms of Labour in the 21st Century
  • Poverty: The Social Problem We Don't Want to Discuss