PHILOSOPHY

Teaching is for me at once a joy, a calling, and a profound responsibility that I strive to undertake with dedication and imagination. I see it not just as part of my job but an opportunity to both honor and pass on to others the contributions that my past teachers and mentors have made. I thoroughly believe that the critical thinking, research and writing skills we teach our students will help them become more informed and engaged citizens of the world.

COURSES

At Northwestern, I teach COMM_ST 394 “Creativity in Context” and MTS 525 “Global Culture? Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives,” among other courses.

Creativity in Context

“Creativity is intelligence having fun” A. E.

This course explores a fascinating problem for social scientific analysis: the production of new ideas and practices as well as the reputations of their creators: What does it mean to approach “creativity” as a social construct? How do social, cultural or geographic contexts affect “creative” output and innovations? How do professional communities determine when ideas are original, instead of misguided or infeasible? How does this compare across the arts/media, the sciences, or the technological markets? Students will be acquainted with key approaches to creativity and innovation in sociology, social psychology, organizational studies, and economic geography. Through a set of assignments students also will build important skills for their own future creative research. The course includes brief introductory lectures, student presentations, plenty of discussions, and a field trip that involves a collective interview with an outstanding creative expert.

For previous collective interviews with Walter Gilbert and Howard Gardner, cf. the links below:


Art vs. Science? Interview with Scientist, Nobel Laureate and Visual Artist Walter Gilbert:

Multiple Intelligences and Creativity? An Interview with Developmental Psychologist Howard Gardner:

Global Culture? Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives

With the growth of worldwide interdependencies, social scientists increasingly have engaged with the “global economy,” with “global law,” or even “global civil society.” But what about culture? Does it make sense to speak of “global culture”? And if so, what role do the arts and media play in it, and how should we study related processes? Spanning theoretical, empirical as well as methodological considerations, the goals of this course are three-fold: First, to provide an overview of theoretical key positions in the evolution of the “global culture” debate. Second, to acquaint with important current frontiers of research on the arts and media in a global context. Third, by dissecting exemplary case studies, students also learn about a variety of design strategies to construct research problems that go beyond conventional national boundaries and West-centric perspectives.