Rice invites everyone to experience Creativity Up Close

Rice University
Office of Public Affairs / News & Media Relations


Katharine Shilcutt

Rice invites everyone to experience Creativity Up Close
Moody Center for the Arts will host lecture series featuring researchers from across U.S.

HOUSTON — (Jan. 9, 2018) — Rice University students in Professor Anthony Brandt’s popular Creativity Up Close course explore neuroscience, psychology, sociology and the economics of creativity as they develop hands-on projects throughout the semester. This year, the public is invited to learn alongside those students with a free lecture series featuring distinguished researchers in the study of creativity.

Creativity Up Close lecture series

The Creativity Up Close Lecture Series takes place in the Moody Center for the Arts’ Lois Chiles Studio Theater on the following dates:

  • Feb. 5: James C. Kaufman, University of Connecticut
  • Feb. 26: Teresa Amabile, Harvard University
  • April 16: Dean Keith Simonton, University of California, Davis

Lectures begin at 7 p.m. with opening remarks from Brandt. Q&A sessions and book signings will follow. Seating is limited; advance registration is recommended at moody.rice.edu/events/creativity.

Brandt is also offering the full course to the public through the Glasscock School for Continuing Studies. Creativity Up Close: Creative Process and Practice will provide a deep dive into understanding the creative process with opportunities to practice creativity. The course runs from Feb. 19 to April 2; enrollment is open now.

Psychologist James C. Kaufman from the University of Connecticut will launch the series with a Feb. 5 lecture titled “Why Creativity? Toward better and newer positive outcomes.” The author or editor of more than 45 books, he is the president of the American Creativity Association and co-founder of two major journals. Kaufman has tested Sanjay Gupta’s creativity on CNN, appeared in the hit Australian show “Redesign My Brain” and narrated the comic book documentary “Independents.” He wrote the book and lyrics to psychological musical “Discovering Magenta,” which had its New York premiere in 2015, and co-authored a book on bad baseball pitchers with his father.

Sociologist Teresa Amabile from Harvard University will speak Feb. 26 during a lecture titled “A Labor of Love: Lessons from a Creativity Research Program.” Amabile has researched and written about creativity for over 40 years and was instrumental in establishing the social psychology of creativity. She has presented her work to audiences in a variety of settings, including Pixar, Genentech, TEDx Atlanta, Apple and the World Economic Forum. In 2011 and 2013, she was named to the global Thinkers50 list. Amabile is currently studying retirement, including the impact of engagement in creative activities when adjusting to retirement.

Psychologist Dean Keith Simonton will wrap up the series April 16 with a lecture titled “Creativity in the arts and sciences: Contrasts in disposition, development, and achievement.” Simonton is the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, Davis. His research program encompasses the cognitive, personality, developmental and socio-cultural factors behind exceptional creativity, leadership, genius and talent. This program has produced more than 560 publications and 14 books, including “Genius, Creativity, and Leadership: Histriometric Inquiries,” “Why Presidents Succeed: A Political Psychology of Leadership,” “The Origins of Genius: Darwinian Perspectives on Creativity” and “The Genius Checklist: Nine Paradoxical Tips on How You Can Become a Creative Genius.” Simonton’s honors include the William James Book Award, the Sir Francis Galton Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Study of Creativity, the Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Achievement in Psychology and the Arts and three Mensa Awards for Excellence in Research. In addition, he is a fellow of nearly a dozen scientific societies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Psychological Science and 12 divisions of the American Psychological Association.

Anthony Brandt is the chair of composition and theory at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He and neuroscientist David Eagleman co-authored “The Runaway Species: How Creativity Remakes the World,” published in 10 countries. Brandt also serves as artistic director of the new music ensemble Musiqa,which performs public and educational concerts throughout Houston and has earned two Chamber Music America/ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming.

For more information on the lecture series, visit moody.rice.edu/events/creativity. For a Rice University map and parking information, visit rice.edu/parking.


For more information, contact Katharine Shilcutt, media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6760 or kshilcutt@rice.edu.

This news release can be found online at news.rice.edu.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Related information:

Moody Center for the Arts: moody.rice.edu

Shepherd School of Music: music.rice.edu

High-resolution images for download:


Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.

About Katharine Shilcutt

Katharine Shilcutt is a media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.