Notes on: The Creativity of Culture and the Culture of Creativity Research: The Promise of Integrative Transdisciplinarity

Notes on: The Creativity of Culture and the Culture of Creativity Research: The Promise of Integrative Transdisciplinarity

"The psychology of creativity has generated vital and all too often ignored research, but in the process it has like all new disciplines and sub-disciplines, decontextualised its subject and operated as relatively closed systems." 

Here I realise, very early on in this paper that an understanding of the history and psychology of creativity and an understanding of systems theory in relation to such is imperative. This led me to The Psychology of Creativity: A Historical Perspective by Dean Keith Simonton, PhD Professor of Psychology,University of California. The first section of notes will focus on some points made in this paper and will then move back to Montouri and Donnelly.

  • cites creativity as the capacity to produce ideas that are both original and adaptive 

  • creativity enables a person to adjust
    to novel circumstances and to solve problems that unexpectedly arise 

  • Freud (1908/1959) explicitly compared creativity with daydreaming. 

  • Psychometrics. The prototype of psychometric assessment is the intelligence test. Yet as already mentioned, intelligence has very little to do with creativity. It seems that the cognitive processes that underlie creativity are not the kind tapped in the typical “IQ test.” This has led several psychologists to introduce measures that directly assess the mental processes involved in creative thought. For example, Mednick (1962) theorized that creativity requires the capacity to generate remote associations that can connect hitherto disparate ideas. 

  • This virtue is evident in Abraham Maslow’s (1959) description of the self-actualizing person. The typical profile includes spontaneity, an efficient perception of reality, an appreciation of the beautiful and the sublime, autonomy and independence, an acceptance of self, others, and of nature, a focus on social and universal problems rather than the personal, an identification with and sympathy for humanity, a democratic character structure with corresponding freedom from prejudice, mystic experiences or oceanic feelings, and, last but not least, creativity. Maslow based this profile largely on the study of creative geniuses like George Washington Carver, Albert Einstein, Baruch Spinoza, Martin Buber, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Keats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Browning, Walt Whitman, Aldous Huxley, Pierre Renoir, and Franz Joseph Haydn. ​

- Montouri and Donnelly: cites the times we live in as "postnormal" - leaving modernity/industrial age andf emerging to a new age marked by chaos, contradictions and complexity The difficulties which have become apparent with new types of networks and global instability. Solid forma such as jobs and gender have become 'liquid' (Bauman2005.2007) ​

Radical Connectivity - (Mele 2013) 

more notes to follow - nodes of each strand will need to be linked in a visually accessable way. The multiple strands of investigation are already quite disparate, identifying how these transverse will be key to the aim of my research. I believe already novel and disparate research strands can not only elucidate my research but can become an active practice throughout the research, leading to new works and collaborations. The key to the research and practice will be the linking of these disparate fields of research in a way which will compound the fundamental of transdisciplinarity.  

Along with research on creativity, hybridity, pedagogy and transdisciplinarity, a strand of research which actively seeks out Nicolescus 'hidden third' or 'third space' as a site for the production of transversal and transdisciplinary collaboration in the creative sense. The 'creative sense' must not be exclusionary or hierarchical or bend to disciplinary will. 

Notes on research Nov 2017

Stanley Fish

Karen Barad


Beginning to read Karan Barads work with a view to understanding 'agential realism' and the concept of 'intra-action' (which I feel is a fundamental in the practice of transdisciplinarity) I was led to the very useful paper by Klaura. This paper has been useful in a number of ways, throwing up many strands to think about in the undoubtedly murky and risk laden waters of transdisciplinarity in academia. The consideration of  feminist epistemologies within the trans disc and the realisation that the sheer amount of considerations and unconsiderations that may have to take place in order to achieve any authenic intra-action might be the biggest stumbling block to either studying what may or may not be trans disc within creative work, while simultaneously attempting to becoming trans disc in my own practice work. Challenging my own naive perspectives is also key.

Since much of the literature on transdisc comes from the intra/interactions of the science/life science communities the reading list widens as does the goal to learn new (academic) languages. Karan Barads book Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning once again leads me to quantum physics and into languages which are challenging. Beginning this book it dawns on me that these works, almost monumental, talk about things through other things. Not alongside but within. The ability to have discourse through multiple things is daunting as it means some sort of fluency outside of ones own language. And then, one has to take into account how each language was formed and the structures which surround the language including the social, the politcal, the historical, the gendered.. all the power structures which have allowed that language to emerge. Semantics perhaps... much like the semantic web every intra-action becomes incalcuably linked to another. This is why attempting real engagement with the notion of trans disc in actual practice can perhaps quickly become a sort of academic drowning.

Alongside Barad, Klauras paper is one which has caused me some new considerations. Considerations of the deeply embedded gender assumptions (including her use of agendered pronouns ) which are a massive part of discipline (the study of discipline formation ala Foucoult etc must be part of my research for how can one attempt or study the idea of transdisciplinarity without the clear understanding of disciplinarity?) to the complete over haul of my own understanding of the inter/intra actions of science, nature culture sociey etc etc .

So, to begin.

....................................................... where? Perhaps back to Discipline and Punish once again.

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