Sustainable Creativity
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleLET-ACWME0012
Credits (ECTS)5
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Arts; Cultural Studies;
dr. V. Meelberg
Other course modules lecturer
dr. V. Meelberg
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. V. Meelberg
Other course modules lecturer
dr. V. Meelberg
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2023
PER 1  (04/09/2023 to 05/11/2023)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
In this course you will be introduced to philosophical, sociological, and psychological theories on creativity, which will enable you to productively examine the relationships between creativity and sustainability. Furthermore, you will develop specific skills for observing, describing, analysing, and critiquing creative practices within the creative industries that are related to sustainability, as well as strategies to sustain creative practices.

Creativity seems to have become a very desirable commodity in our present-day culture. Creativity, economists and government officials maintain, is necessary to innovate, and innovation leads to economic prosperity. The success of the creative industries appears to support this claim, as this economic sector distinguishes itself by its emphasis on creativity.

Moreover, creativity is seen as a crucial instrument to address problems related to sustainability, i.e. developments that meet “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987). This, however, is not the only manner in which sustainable creativity can be interpreted. It can also be regarded as a process of constant change and innovation that can be sustained for a longer period of time, for instance over the course of the lifespan of an organisation, as opposed to single, discrete acts of creation.

Yet, what does it mean to be creative? Is creativity an extraordinary, unique characteristic that can only be attributed to genuine artists or geniuses, or is it something far more ordinary, a phenomenon that is potentially present in all human activity? Starting from the working definition that creativity is the process of developing new mental combinations that are surprising and valuable, either to the subject(s) who come up with these combinations, or to the cultural group to which the subject(s) belong, we will explore the notion of creativity from two perspectives: an ontological (what it is) and a performative (what it does) point of view.

We will start this course by discussing how creativity is theorized by thinkers such as Margaret Boden, Gilles Deleuze, and Keith Sawyer, by close reading key texts on creativity. The outcomes of these discussions will constitute the theoretical context within which we will examine the possible relationships between sustainability and creativity. In this examination we will focus both on the question how creativity can contribute to sustainability and on the manners in which creative practices can themselves be sustainable.


Presumed foreknowledge
A completed Bachelor's degree in a related field. You are required to have a Dutch Bachelor's degree (or equivalent, from a research university) in a field related to Creative Industries: Cultural Studies, Art History or a Bachelor's of Arts with at least 30 EC in Art History, Cultural Studies and/or Cultural Policy.
Test information


Required materials
Assorted articles from journals and chapters from books.
Sawyer, R. Keith. 2011. Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation. Second edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Title:Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation.
Author:Keith Sawyer
Publisher:Oxford University Press

Instructional modes

Test weight100
Test typeProject
OpportunitiesBlock PER 1, Block PER 2

Minimum grade