The New Spirit of Creativity examines creativity as an embedded institutional value and priority within public art institutions and higher education. The book unpacks the everyday work, organization, and administration of artistic creativity and its clashes with a "new spirit" of creativity that has widely taken hold.
Based on fieldwork conducted at three art and design universities in Canada, Saara Liinamaa tackles the fraught landscape of contemporary higher education, the uncertainties of cultural work, and ongoing concerns around austerity in Canada. This book traces how creativity is not simply practiced within the art school, but also inequitably recognized and rewarded. Liinamaa identifies the many compromises required between artistic creativity and the new spirit, while demonstrating how not all compromises are created equally; compromise can support or erode creative diversity. Drawing on a range of original sources – including interviews, participant observation, policy and planning, and media – this work makes a compelling case as to why art and design schools are worthy of sustained attention. By connecting shared interests across sociology, education, cultural studies, art history, and cultural theory, The New Spirit of Creativity makes a novel and agenda-setting contribution to our understanding of artistic creativity, compromise, and cultural work.
About the author
Saara Liinamaa is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Guelph.