Creativity and Genius
Creativity is an imperative that aggressively structures our society. The idea of a creative personality dates back to the eighteenth century and originally serves to valorize a societal margin, the sphere of art production. The Junior Research Group Creativity and Genius attempts to reconstruct how this idea could become a paradigm for whole industries and an obligatory standard for individual subjectivity.
|Place of research||LMU Munich|
|Association||International Doctoral Program|
„MIMESIS: Munich Doctoral Program for Literature and the Arts“
|Project duration||2017 to 2022|
|Group leader||Dr. Jan Niklas Howe|
Contact the group leader
|Further information||Website Creativity and Genius|
The Expansion of the Aesthetic
Media, entertainment, design, architecture, consulting, public relations and research are creative industries; moreover, creativity is a key concept for self-fashioning in social networks, lonely heart ads or job applications. Theoretical conceptions of universal creativity, ranging from “aesthetic regime” and “aesthetic capitalism” to a “regime of creativity”, all interpret it as an expansion of aesthetic practices and preferences to non-aesthetic areas of life. This interpretation poses three main challenges to the Humanities: to identify these practices, to contextualize them historically, and to establish creativity as an object of theory.
The Research Group takes as its point of departure the observation that 20th century creativity discourse relies on rhetorical strategies and poetic techniques first established in 18th century aesthetics of genius. In both historical conceptualizations, creative potential features the same remarkable contradiction: it describes, on the one hand, a superlative of extraordinary, singular individuality, and, on the other hand, a universally accessible resource.
The format of the Junior Research Group enables us to raise an innovative interdisciplinary question while profiting from an excellent disciplinary constellation at LMU Munich.
Dr. Jan Niklas Howe
The Research Group attempts to establish a first link between literary scholarship on genius and interdisciplinary research on creativity.
It cooperates closely with the International Doctoral Program MIMESIS: Munich Doctoral Program for Literature and the Arts.