ALEA Summer School "Creativity and Contingency"


15-19 June  2020, Centre universitaire de la Norvège à Paris

Creativity is a central to the arts, literature, music, etc, but the creative process remains an elusive activity. How does one study creativity? How does one grasp the contingency involved in making something new? What role do traditions of creativity, innovation and the genius play? It is necessary to approach the study of creativity from different disciplinary perspectives. Literary studies can shed light on how creativity is thematised in literary works of art, where traces of the creative process can be found in the finished project and how, across literary history, the very notion of what it is to be creative has changed. Philosophy and psychology can tell us more about the processes of thought and imagination involved, while the study of artistic practices draws attention to the ways in which tools and technologies change creative activities. In the dialogue between philosophy, psychology and aesthetic subjects, we can also address how everyday creative thinking might relate itself to artistic expressions of creativity. Through any of these contexts runs the tension between, on the one hand, protocols and practices of creativity and, on the other hand, contingency – creativity’s unplannable moments.

The ALEA Summer School offers PhD students the opportunity to engage with experts from different disciplines, become familiar with methods for studying creativity and learn more about creativity as it appears in literature, visual arts and music. Participants from the Summer School will also be invited to attend the lectures at the seminar of the ICLA research committee for literary theory on the topic “Theorising Chance” (19 June 2020).

Lecturers: Ros Ballaster (Literature, University of Oxford), Henry Keazor (Art History, University of Heidelberg), Karin Kukkonen (Literature, University of Oslo), Juliane Vogel (Literature, Konstanz University), Michael Wheeler (Philosophy, University of Stirling)
Workshop on Manuscript Genetics: Nathalie Ferrand (ENS, Centre for the Study of Modern Manuscripts)
Workshop on Interviews with Authors: Gisèle Sapiro (EHESS)

Current PhD students are invited to send a short outline of their project (200-300 words) to: The deadline is 31 March 2020.
PhD students can be awarded 3-5 ECTS points from their home institution (depending on the nature of their participation). The Summer School is organised in collaboration between the project ALEA ( Artificial Figurations & Configurations of Chance) and CUNP (Centre universitaire de la Norvège à Paris).