Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018
Dr. Michael H. Hanson will be presenting at the Webster Center for Creativity and Innovation (WCCI) at Webster University in Geneva, Switzerland.
Below is a description about the event as stated on the WCCI webpage through Webster University:
A leading edge in creativity theory are newly emerging participatory approaches. Theorists advocating this approach have argued that we should move away from the ideological commitments to extreme individualism that have characterized much of creativity research. At the same time, we should not abandon the central question that the construct of creativity has raised: the relationship between agency and change.
At the level of theory, this may sound good, and debunking the genius myth in relation to "great ones" is actually not difficult. What does the participatory approach work in the real world, though? To consider this question, Dr. Hanchett Hanson will describe five years of research on a theatre-based program for adolescents in New York City. In this program, teenagers across New York City come together to build a full-scale musical based on their life stories. The result is a moving and hard-hitting work of art, addressing such issues as sexual abuse, gang violence, drug abuse, depression, homophobia and the nature of community and love. The process is creative, and participants call the experience "transformative". The practical questions for us: why and how is this transformation occuring? Individualist creativity theories would seem to apply at first glance but ultimately fail to explain key aspects of the program's structure and outcomes. Participatory models, in contrast, fit the data better and give a richer description of how the program works. Through this analysis we can see how the participatory lenses can change research and practice in a program designed to facilitate creative development, as well as a number of related outcomes.
After reviewing this case through the lens of participatory creativity, Dr. Hanchett Hanson will reflect on how the lessons from this research can apply to other contexts, such as businesses and more traditional educational settings. He joins other theorists who see "creativity", not a thing within people or the world, but as a powerful value that has come to characterize personal and social life. How we choose to conceive of this value and the practices that we associate with it have many practical implications.
For more information about the event and WCCI, visit this link here.