program description

What motivates and facilitates creativity, discovery, and invention, in arts and in sciences? To what extent do scientists and artists work within traditional practices or bodies of knowledge, and how do they move beyond and expand standard models or forms to achieve true innovation?

What are the roles of community, genius, luck, plain hard work, and being in the right place in the right time in history? Are certain resources prerequisite, or is creativity truly democratic? Can any patterns be discerned in revolutions in science? In art? What qualifies as a revolution or innovation? We will explore questions such as these by reading (and sometimes staging) plays, fiction, philosophy, and nonfiction about arts and sciences. We will learn about the advent and development of the moving image. Students may, individually or in teams, explore and present special cases of particular interest to them, as research projects. Students will write short, thoughtful essays and responses to peers’ essays. We will learn some classical and modern physics and environmental science, using mostly conceptual methods.

Class meets Tuesday/Thursday, 1 – 5:30 pm in Sem 2, D1105.  This is a partly online program.  As such, students will be working online (Moodle seminars, for example) and in study groups outside of class on weekends and Wednesdays.