Extreme creativity: A University course unlike any other

Kaya Schuster, Contributing Writer

Did you ever imagine that curating your own multi-media mixtape could be a homework assignment? It could be. This spring, the University is offering an extraordinary interdisciplinary perspectives course devoted to tapping into your own imagination and mental dexterity: UNIV 200-03, otherwise known as “Extreme Creativity – Movements and Mixtapes.”

The aforementioned course is being extended to sophomores by the University’s Associate Professor of Music Barry Long and Associate Professor of Theatre & Dance Dustyn Martincich. The unique collaboration between these two professors was inspired by the late renowned author Toni Morrison, who founded an academic program in 1994 called the Princeton Atelier, which sponsors artists from various disciplines to collaborate on a new project over the course of a semester.

Each semester, students are given the opportunity to engage in a 15-week experience that pushes them to think like artists and challenge their perceptions of creativity. The course is a blend of all different elements, as can be observed by the unique materials list requiring everything from an active Spotify account to “clothes in which you can move.”

“The class is not at all what I expected. It ranges from getting up and doing dancing and stretching-type activities to putting together a bunch of songs that resonate with us and making our own mixtape,” Courtney Wolin ’23 said.

Despite the current climate of the pandemic, students agree that Barry and Martincich communicate in a way that is stimulating and exciting. “The professors are very engaging and care a lot about their students’ creative process, making sure we’re actively moving in class, which is a nice change from just sitting in front of the computer,” Jackson O’Brien ’23 said.

“On the first day of class, we were given a random number of someone in the class and had to text them to get to know them,” Caroline Hendrix ’23 said.

With a goal of exploring the creative process in a manner that exhibits interdisciplinary collaboration, students learn to take risks, build confidence and become part of an artistic community. Students have the opportunity to attend various arts and theatre events as well as listen to a number of the University’s faculty guest speakers. Among these speakers are professionals specializing in photography, storytelling, film and media, visual art, women and gender studies and creative writing. Students are additionally expected to complete weekly multi-media mixtapes, along with various other creative projects and workshops during the semester.

“Extreme Creativity” represents just one of the University’s varied curriculum offerings that challenges the norm and motivates students to operate out of their comfort zone.

(Visited 130 times, 1 visits today)