Literature of Creativity

One Semester (.5 credit)

What does it mean to exercise power by bringing a work of art into being? Is there a difference between “artistic” and other forms of creativity or communication? In what ways can a work of art have “helpful” or “harmful” effects on others? In this semester course, students will engage with these and similar questions by reading, discussing, and writing about texts dealing with the nature of artistic creativity. Most of our work will be with short stories, poems, and essays, but we will also analyze “non-literary” artistic texts like paintings and songs, and we will read and write about one novel: Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, a sometimes-darkly-funny gothic novel focused on the intersection of art and ethics.  In order to engage more fully with concerns tied to the exercise of artistic power, students will begin and end the course by creating works of art using different individual and collaborative creative methods. Students may create within any artistic medium they choose: songwriting, story writing, poetry, filmmaking, sculpture, painting, theater, puppetry, dance, fashion, etc. NOTE: For creative assignments, students are not graded on artistic ability, but rather on engaging with specific creative processes.