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Introducing the Creative Research Center at Montclair State University - a proud new HASTAC member

Introducing to the HASTAC Community

The Creative Research Center of Montclair State University

"We need to make more use of novel organizational structures such as interdisciplinary Centers and institutes which reach across disciplinary boundaries. And we need to go farther than this. We might well consider building alternative ‘virtual’ structures that draw together students, faculty and staff." – James J. Duderstadt and Farris W. Womack, Beyond the Crossroads: The Future of the Public University in America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003)

The Creative Research Center (CRC) is a born-digital, dynamic, nimble, open-source, collaborative space -- a Web forum to stimulate, reinvigorate, promote and publicize Very Large-Scale Conversations.

While the CRC lives in the College of the Arts of Montclair State University, the arts are not the sole proprietors of imaginative thinking. The reason-for-being of the Creative Research Center, thus, is to inspire discussion of shared commonalities of imagination and creativity across all fields of knowledge, including (but not exclusively) the expressive arts. The environment of Montclair State as an aspirational public university, therefore, is the ideal place to incubate such a Center.

The CRC has far-reaching curatorial, editorial and outreach intentions including breaking down "silos" which frequently exist among academic colleges, departments and programs. Outside our familiar academic culture lies a vast, fraught, and endangered world. Daily occurrences on the big stages of our overstressed society and natural environment effect – in ways writ large and small – the way men and women in the post-9/11 generation live their lives. It is imperative that academia (and humankind) use creativity to bridge communication wherever possible.

Aiming for a public audience, the first challenge of the new CRC is to spark engaged, interactive (and intergenerational) discourse, crossing over academic boundaries to address real-world issues. One of the first great American trans-disciplinary (actually transcendental) thinkers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said it well, back in 1862, "It is impossible to extricate oneself from the questions in which your age is involved. You can no more keep out of politics than you can keep out of the frost."

The CRC encourages conversation about the permeable membrane between public, political and so-called private worlds and spheres; and explores the impact of large contexts upon the intimate content of our thoughts and character, no matter what intellectual and imaginative roads are pursued. Marshall McLuhan announced almost a half-century ago that "the medium is the message." In this spirit, the Creative Research Center (in its greatest context) looks forward to "hearing from you"


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