Communicating Creativity (Com691)

Spring 2008; Tuesdays 2:30-5:00

Professor:  Dineh Davis

Office:  Crawford 307


Office hours: TW: 9:30-11:30 or by appt.

Phone: 956-3332

Course Objectives: (1) to examine current theory and research related to the outward manifestations of creative thoughts; to discover the many ways in which humans have defined creativity through communication in verbal and nonverbal domains; as expressed by individuals; and as defined by fields, domains, and societies; (2) to review theoretical foundations for creativity and how this concept is communicated to us throughout a lifespan:  commonalities across disciplines and cultures; and (3) to examine the tools for creativity and human predispositions and learned behaviors for their effective use.

Required Readings:

Weisberg, Robert W. (2006) Creativity: understanding innovation in problem solving, science, invention, and the arts.  Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1996) Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention.  New York : HarperCollins Publishers

In addition to the required texts, students should choose their own individual readings (from supplied bibliography or similar sources) early and share their research activities with the class throughout the semester. Journals on creativity (such as the Creativity Research Journal, The Journal of Creative Behavior, and Mind, Culture, and Activity) are available at Hamilton Library.  Students will supplement these readings with more specialized publications that pertain to their own area of interest in creativity studies. The final group project presentations should be based on readings, listenings, viewings, and doings that are shared with the class on an on-going basis.


Research Presentations &/or demonstrations: Individual (2X10)/ group (2X10)



Contributions – online & in-class: (consistent throughout 15 weeks)


Final project


Final Evaluation


It is expected that students will attend every class session from 2:30-5:00.  Often each session will begin with a guest speaker.  Occasionally, this may require us to meet in a different venue, to accommodate other guests and speakers or taping of the presentation.  Our class discussions will take place promptly after a brief break for rest and potential relocation.  There are likely to be several optional activities that will take us beyond campus or outside the scheduled class time.  Contributing to discussions on the class web site is also required!

Per session:  Every class session will consist of several modules.  There will be brief lectures, guest presentations, or panel discussions as well as student contributions in one or both of the following formats:

            a.  Group activities & play:  three or more per group will interact through several weeks to bring an activity or topic to the table; and/or share online.  (These groups of three to four will be randomly assigned and rotated each week, if necessary).   By week five you have the option of forming “preferred” groups for the final project.

            b.  Individual contributions are in addition to responses to required readings.  These are “Show & Interact” topics that can be based on current events & research-inspired; personal observations that demand formal validation; or a research puzzlement (though not a puzzle!) among other creative options.

Specific topics and semester assignments will be based on the interest of participating students; however, the instructor’s research focus remains on the intersection of creativity and culture and the balance of finding creative solutions to preserve what is worthy of cultural traditions while exploring the potential for future growth.