The Psychology and Expression of Creativity
What is creativity? Is it an inborn trait parceled out to the lucky few, or is it a process that all of us can tap into and develop in a meaningful way? How are the processes and products of science and art similar? This course will have both a rigorous intellectual component and a time-intensive experiential component. We will examine the philosophical roots underlying current conceptions of creativity, as well as delve into modern psychological theories concerning its wellspring and expression. Additionally, we will examine how structural elements such as gender, race, and ethnicity figure into the expression of creativity. Class format will include readings, group discussion, writing, and your personal engagement in selected art forms (such as creative writing, painting, photography, ceramics, drawing, performance, music, movement, etc.). You will participate in campus events and draw upon your own artistic experience as part of our collective inquiry into these issues. Research projects may include the following: interviewing scientists and artists about their own creative processes; exploring the life and work of a creative person of your choice; investigating “subversive” art and how marginalized groups have used art not just to express cultural difference but also to effect social change; considering the effects of ancient theories of aesthetics on our current sensibilities; examining the mental health benefits of creative endeavors, both for individuals and communities; and more! This FYS requires a significant out-of-class time commitment.