IC Honors Seminar Spotlight: Creativity & Madness

Professor Mary Beth O’Connor is bringing back her popular seminar this semester. Check out more about it below!

iStock_000017748904Small90_610_300_s_c1_center_centerDescribe your seminar in one sentence. “Creativity & Madness is an investigation into the relationship—or lack thereof—between various kinds of “mental illness” and creativity.”

Describe your classroom style in one sentence. “Discussion-based with an emphasis on students identifying and exploring interests of their own in this field: a particular artist, musician, writer, scientist who has been associated with “madness” or an issue in the field such as whether there is a relationship between bipolar disorder and creativity, whether people can create when they’re depressed, how “madness” has been portrayed in literature and film, what the role of the unconscious in creativity is, etc.”

What is one thing you hope students will take away from your seminar? “I hope that students will take away the skill to undertake research in an area of their own choosing and come to understand the complexities involved in the issues in the field of creativity and madness studies.”

What is one piece of advice you would give to students? “Question your assumptions.”

More to know: “Each of us also takes on a creativity project, and we share these projects at the end of the semester. I encourage students (and myself) to try something new, something they feel they’re not good at, etc. and see what happens: painting, writing poems, songwriting, sculpture, making pottery, drawing, filmmaking, even game-creation!”

Check out the full list of seminars here and the whole list of spotlights here.