Imaginative Inquiry and Conceptual Creativity: Transcending Boundaries in Arts and Humanities Inquiry and Production

By Marsha L. Heck.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Dynamically interdisciplinary, this project combined traditional academic scholarship, artistic studio practice, performance, and creative writing. Conventional boundaries of academic scholarship and creative arts production were transcended. Drawing on anthropological research, feminist literature and art criticism, research products included academic manuscripts, sculpture exhibitions, and performances that incorporated sculpture, creative writing, poetry, and song. My approach to researching Yup’ik art and culture was not unlike the undifferentiated Yup’ik worldview (Fienup-Riordan, 1994, p.46) that I was studying. Neither traditional Yup’ik life, nor my project was limited by artificial or fixed boundaries, in the case of my project the limits of traditional academic disciplinary content and practices. Reflections about transcending these boundaries as a non-tenured faculty member are intended to engage others in considering their own scholarly and creative pursuits. I propose a starting point for a conversation to blur distinctions between arts and humanities inquiry and production. This symbiotic partnership of arts-informed and traditional research suggests the value of art making in humanities scholarship and ultimately in what can be seen as a fragmented Academia.

Keywords: Visual Arts, Inquiry, Exploration, Interdisciplinary, Scholarship and Creative Activity, Transformation, Disciplinary Boundaries

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 11, pp.125-132. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 522.681KB).

Marsha L. Heck

Associate Professor, Secondary and Foundations of Education, School of Education, Indiana University South Bend, USA

Marsha L. Heck is committed to the transformation of individuals, communities, and culture through educational experiences and inquiry that develops power, freedom and full self-expression in the face of any circumstances. Her work addresses cultural exploration, the arts as a language of possibility and inquiry, and the wholeness of human experience in education. In the classroom she stands for possibility even when students see none. She encourages future and current teachers to loose site of the shore as they explore new horizons. Trained first as an arts educator and then a therapist, Heck’s doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction: Cultural Studies provided the tools of critical theory and expanded her creative arts training and inquiry. A gardener, traveler, and sybarite by passion, Marsha celebrates the connections among her rich and varied life experiences, personal transformational work, and her scholarship and teaching. Her creative arts expressions encompass beauty, cultural exploration, and a critical social commentary grounded in possibility.


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