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Creativity ClassArt School and Culture Work in Postsocialist China$
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Lily Chumley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164977

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164977.001.0001

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(p.122) 5 Self-Styling
Creativity Class

Lily Chumley

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the pedagogical forms through which students who matriculate to art academies after years of highly technical test prep are taught to practice creativity and “find themselves.” It offers an ethnography of the discussion-based, “critique”-style “creativity classes” (chuangzaoke) that are a central part of university-level art and design curriculum. Building on the linguistic anthropology of pedagogy, this chapter describes how art students are taught to “entextualize” a style by narrating a self, performatively anchoring an aesthetic that is always drawn from the work of others in a unique and highly personal subjectivity. The chapter reflects on the political implications of this subjectivity and its forms of practice.

Keywords:   self-styling, pedagogical forms, creativity classes, practicing creativity, personal subjectivity, political implications, linguistic anthropology, pedagogy

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