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The Creative Mind: JMCCCP Reading Group

The enigma of creativity has perplexed and fascinated scholars from a wide range of disciplines throughout the ages. The JMCCCP reading group examines creativity from a broadly interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on the work of key scholars and artists in order to better understand the creative process. The group gives equal consideration to both theoretical works and artistic reflections on creativity, and is interested in thinking about creativity from antiquity right through to the latest advances in neuroscience. Suggestions for reading materials are welcome. Please email: 

  • Session One: Divine Inspiration or Craftsmanship? Creativity in Aristotle, Plato and Kant

    Is creativity the product of divinely inspired ecstasy or the result of careful craftsmanship directed towards a specific goal? The work of genius or labour? Plato and Aristotle argue for very different approaches to the concept of creativity and art, but both have been influential over the centuries. Join us for the first JMCCCP ‘The Creative Mind’ Reading Group, as we discuss three brief selections from Plato, Aristotle and Kant.

    Fri Oct 9th, 1pm – 2.30pm
    Conservatorium Meeting Room, Rm 213, Schulz Building

    RSVP by Wed Oct 7th:

    Download Readings

    1. "The Ion," Dialogues of Plato, Vol. 3: Ion, Hippias Minor, Laches, Protagoras.Trans. Teginald E Allen. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996.

    2. Selections from The Creativity Question, eds. Albert Rothenberg and Car R Hausman. Durham: Duke University Press, 1976: From Aristotle's Metaphysics in Ross W.D. (trans. and ed.), The Oxford Translation of Aristotle, Vol. 8, Oxford: Oxford University Press; From Kant, I., The Critique of Judgement, Meredith, J.C. (trans), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Session Two: Imagination and Creativity
    This session we will continue to look at historical perspectives on creativity from both artists and scientists, with a selection of descriptions of the creative process from Edgar Allan Poe, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Walter Bradford Cannon, Graham Wallas, Catherine Patrick and Cesare Lombroso. This is paired by an essay on the creative imagination by the polymath Michael Polanyi.

    Friday 15 April, 2 - 3pm, The Stretton Room, 420 Napier Building

    RSVP by Friday 8 April to

    For more information and for the readings, please email

  • Session Three: Memory, Reverie and Creativity
    This session we will continue to look at descriptions of the creative process by artists (Mozart and an essay by Nabokov called "The Art of Literature and Commonsense"), as well a short story by Jorge Luis Borges and the introduction to Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Reverie.

    Friday 13 May, 2 - 3pm, The Elder Conservatorium Meeting Room, 213 Schulz Building

    For more information and for the readings, please email

  • Session Four: Reverie, Imagination and Creativity
    This session we will continue with the next chapter of Bachelard's The Poetics of Reverie, as well read Henry Miller's reflections on the writing process, and examine R.W. Gerard's discussion of the biological basis of imagination.

    Friday 10 June, 2 - 3pm, The Stretton Room, 420 Napier Building.

    If you would like to join this group, please email for the readings.

The J.M. Coetzee Centre
for Creative Practice

School of Humanities
Schulz Building, Level 6


T: +61 8 8313 9164
JM Coetzee Centre