How to Deal Critically with Popular Culture – Using Movies for Democratic Practice

  • 12pm–1pm (EDT/GMT-4)


Critical Media Literacy is a joint interdisciplinary initiative by the Heidelberg School of Education and Teachers College (Columbia University). With this year’s lecture series entitled “Critical Media Literacy: A Challenge for Teacher Education and Beyond”, the project aims for a transatlantic collaborative dialogue at the intersection of various disciplines and didactics. Lecturers, students, teachers, educators and various stakeholders in education are welcome to join in.

Teaserbild zur Veranstaltung #CMLLectures mit Porträt von Michael Haus
Portrait: © Universität Heidelberg

Movies and series are a pivotal part of popular culture. They fill the blanks in our leisure time, provide relaxation and distraction but also help us discover our feelings and connect our personal experience with the experiences of others. There are movies and series watched by many and rather different people and others that are loved (or hated) among specific groups. From the angle of Critical Media Literacy, movies and series offer the opportunity to engage in critical practice as to how popular culture is interwoven with power relations and world views. Heralds of CML like Douglas Kellner have highlighted how movies offer pleasure while at the same time shaping our minds. They are sites of struggles for hegemony by uncovering or dissembling social conflicts, cultural identities and experiences.

In this opening lecture to our series „Critical Media Literacy: A Challenge for Teacher Education and Beyond“, different ways of realising the potential of dealing critically with film material will be discussed.


Michael Haus is a political scientist and professor for political theory at Heidelberg University and academic co-director of the Heidelberg School of Education (HSE). His research interests include social justice, democracy and urban politics. In his academic teaching M. Haus often combines the discussion of political theories with the analysis of movies and series. Among other initiatives, he has organised a series of movie events at a local cinema in Heidelberg (Karlstorkino) and together with students paid a visit as “critical observers” to a regional film festival (Internationales Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg). Both teaching initiatives featured cooperation with external partners like cinema operators, festival conductors, and various groups of civil society.


The lecture will be held via zoom:

Meeting-ID: 990 0500 2796
Password: 908146