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IDS 310: The Creative Process - (Bryant): Home

The Creative Process is an interdisciplinary course that will explore creativity both through theory and practice. We will study what historical and contemporary theorists, philosophers, and researchers have said about creativity and we will study what cr

charles mingus on creativity 15 Famous Quotes on Creativity


Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.

Pope, Rob. Creativity: Theory, History, Practice. NY: Routledge, 2005.


Explanation of Assignments

Participation: Class participation accounts for 20 points of your total grade in this course. In a class on the creative process, more perhaps than any other class, it is vital that we develop a robust dialogue. To this end, you should come to class having read the assigned material and be prepared to discuss it. Attempt to answer questions asked of the class – keep in mind these answers need not be correct, only genuine. An excellent way to flesh out our class discussions is to share with the class relevant information discovered outside of class. Feel free, at any time in the semester, to ask me about your participation grade.

Two Response Papers: Each of these response papers is worth 15 points each for a total of 30 points. The purpose of this assignment is to provide an opportunity for you to thoughtfully reflect upon a guest speaker’s presentation or a work of art. The focus of the paper should be, in some way, on creativity. Each response paper should be one typed, double-spaced pages long. You have a choice of guest speakers from which to choose. Your choices are:

                1.            Jan. 21, 7 pm, Reading by Poet Carolyn Forche, SCC Boardrooms

                2.            Feb. 3, 12:30- 1:20, Literature for Lunch: Poet Aja Monet, TECO

                3.            Feb. 17, during class, Guest Lecture by Dr. Alicia Corts

                4.            Feb. 17, 5 pm, Reading by Patrick Bizarro

                5.            March 10, during class, Guest Lecture by Dr. Tammy Zacchilli

                6.            Apr. 13, 12:30-1:20, Literature for Lunch: Poet Terese Svoboda

Three Case Study Papers: These papers are worth 50 points each and account for 150 points of your total grade in this course. Your papers should be between 4-6 pages long, in a normal not counting title or bibliographic information, must be in complete sentences and where necessary, appropriate information must be properly documented in MLA style. You must use a minimum of two scholarly resources and all two of these sources must be cited in the body of your paper at least once. Please remember that Wikipedia is not a scholarly resource. I will not accept the paper as an email attachment. Ten percent will be deducted for every twenty-four hours the paper is late.

                1.            Case Paper 1: For the topic of this paper, you will be required to do a case study of a creative individual; this person might be, for instance, a scientist, artist, social justice advocate, author, musician, or entrepreneur. You may wish to discuss a condition that promoted or encumbered this person’s creativity, or you may wish to discuss this individual’s creative process, or how this person developed a particular thing (be it a theory, public policy, machine, or work of art).

 This paper should clearly bring into conversation the ideas we have been studying in class on creativity. In other words, a biography is not going to work for this assignment. Instead, apply the theories of creativity and the creative process to the person you are studying in such a way that an original synthesis is achieved.

                2.            Case Paper 2: This paper requires you to study a creative partnership. The partners in this relationship may be family members (like the Coen brothers), lovers (like Marie and Pierre Curie), or friends (Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield). In the course of your paper, discuss what  about this relationship seems to encourage creative output and discuss their collaborative  creative process. In addition, explore what major project(s) the two worked on together or  which projects the pair worked on separately, but which were, nevertheless, fed in some way by the relationship. You may wish to discuss what bias the couple faced – for instance, if gay, did the couple encounter homophobia or, if a minority, did the couple face racism or was the female partner subjected to sexism?

This paper should clearly bring into conversation the ideas we have been studying in class on creativity. In other words, a biography is not going to work for this assignment. Instead, apply the theories of creativity and the creative process to the person you are studying in such a way that an original synthesis is achieved.

                3.            Case Paper 3: Think about an issue at Saint Leo which could be reformed, rethought, revamped, or reimagined. Talk with stakeholders (fellow students, faculty, staff, and administrators) to discover if they, too, see the problem you have identified as a difficulty, also. If they don’t, consider going back to the brainstorming drawing board. Once you settle on an issue, think of ways it could be alleviated, fixed, or improved. Be as visionary and radical as your imagination allows, but stay within the boundaries of human decency, our Benedictine values, and realism. For instance, wiping out student debt by tapping the financial aid department with a magic wand is not going to work for this project. Similarly, many problems can be alleviated with an increase of funds and while recommending greater funding can be a part of your solution remember that we cannot manufacture money in the mysterious basement of Saint Edwards Hall. As such, if you recommend greater funding, you must identify a viable revenue stream. In  explaining your solution be as detailed and levelheaded as possible.

Years ago, a politician in D.C. related that Carly Simon came to him with an impassioned plea to save the whales. He asked, “How?” Simon responded with, “Save the whales!” The politician persisted. Simon continued, with ever growing heat, to insist that the U.S. should save the whales. Ultimately, both left the meeting unsatisfied. Simon felt the politician was not going act to save the whales. The politician, noting that he very much wanted to save the whales, admitted that he wasn’t an expert on conservation and didn’t know where to begin. The point of this story? Don’t be Carly Simon. Enunciate clearly the problem you see and, then, with attention to detail, describe a solution.                 

Personal Creativity Paper:  For this project, you will engage in a personal creative project. This could be something you’ve never tried before, or something you’re already good at. It might be writing a story, creating a painting, learning to belly-dance – the choice of activity is up to you.  You will present the project to the class at the end of the semester (10 minutes maximum, worth 5 points) and hand in a reflection of at least 5 pages explaining and reflecting on your project and your creative process. This assignment accounts for 100 points of your total grade in this course.