Creative Works Fellowship

The Creative Works Fellowship (CWF) summer program provides CMC students in the humanities the opportunity to engage in meaningful, self-directed summer projects that culminate in some kind of creative output.

Applications for Summer 2020 Fellowships will be available in January 2020

Summer 2019 Fellows

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Will SIleo ‘20

Think Like a Human: A Philosophical Exploration on Being Human in the Modern Context

My project will be to produce a ten-episode podcast that approaches philosophical issues concerning human nature and experience through a variety of viewpoints, including established philosophers, professors, my peers, and pop culture. Each episode will take on a different philosophical issue such as responsibility for our emotions, the constraints of morality, etc., concepts that have a relevance and relatability to my peers but also contain philosophical underpinnings. In one episode the concept I want to deal with is the effects of technology on what it means to be human, focusing on phones as an extension of our humanity. I will discuss the views of my peers on the subject, and then compare and contrast these points of view with those of philosophers, both ancient and modern on what it means to be human. On another episode I intend to address the concept of willpower, gaining opinions from my peers on how they conceive of the subject and how it applies to their own daily life, and then turning to philosophers such as Plato and Gary Watson to make sense of our intuitions on the subject, focusing on the basic assumptions philosophers use in developing their views. From these varied perspectives I hope to create a synthesis of viewpoints that will make philosophical thought and knowledge more accessible to those outside of the subject and stimulate interest in seeing and applying this philosophical way of thinking to one’s life.  This podcast will be hosted on Spotify and Apple Music, feel free to give it a listen! 

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Sabrina hartono ‘21

A Museum of the Heart

I grew up in an Asian community where both traditional cultural roots and Western ideology influenced my worldview and where stereotypes related to "Eastern" and "Western" outlooks on love were prominent. After diving deeper into the humanities--throughout my classes at CMC and beyond the classroom--my interest in the area blossomed. I now have a framework with which to reconsider “truths” that I never had the chance to explore and challenge. My experience growing up in Southeast Asia has placed me a unique position where I can reflect on these seemingly different approaches and I have come to realize that “Eastern” and “Western” perceptions about love are more similar than they are different. A Museum of the Heart, an art journal, will explore representations of love and life in the history, literature, and philosophy of the East, the West and capture my personal experiences within this topic.

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Zoey Ryu ‘20

Third Culture Narratives

Via a digital curation of third-culture narratives, I wish for other third-culture individuals (TCI) to find a sense of self, the way I did in the stories of those who learned to be comfortable in the multicultural default that life was set to. As the hostess of TCI individual narratives, I will collect and digitally curate their old photographs, home videos, and memorabilia, interlacing it with quotes and poetic portraiture.



Eric Oregel ‘21

In Search of the Modern American Land Ethic

The scope of this project will involve traveling the country and conducting a series of interviews in an attempt to create a comprehensive account what the American Land Ethic is to different professionals who deal directly with land or nature. The Land Ethic is a theoretical framework that has, at the very least, implicitly guided all human interaction with nature with regards to its use as a means in survival and production. At a time in which environmental policy is being heavily debated and the ramifications of climate change, deforestation, and non-sustainable agricultural practices are beginning to manifest, the fissure between how US citizens view their relationship to nature has been extremely apparent. I will embark on a road trip beginning on June 1 and ending on approximately July 29. Over the course of this trip I will be conducting interviews and capturing my experience via photos and various multimedia. I plan to drive through 28 states and my interview slate will include a wide range of people from different backgrounds and professional capacities in an effort to compose a comprehensive and inclusive answer to this question. The end result will be a photo journal with transcripts from various interviews, portraits of each interviewee, and a general photo exhibit of the road trip and the areas I will be visiting. 

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Tori Johnson ‘21

Picture Imperfect: An Avant Garde Study of Social Media and Self-Identity

During a 6-week trip to Europe, I will study the relationship between a person’s self-identity and their self-representation on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. With the guidance of my advisor, Professor Basu, I will use classical and contemporary philosophy to understand how identity interacts with social media. I will visit Berlin, Poland, and London to get exposure to a range of cultural norms on social media. In each city, I will record short interviews with social media users and influencers. From the audio content, I will create a podcast that features pieces of the interviews, research on social media, and my own narrative. To incentivize others to agree to interviews, I will offer a free photoshoot where I will take professional quality photos that they can use on their social media sites. Using my background in sewing, I then will make an avant-garde paper dress out of the printed photos from the photo shoots. Avant-garde designs are seen as hot fashion, and yet they have little semblance to everyday wear. Similarly, social media often displays an enhanced and incomplete reality. Starting with this parallel and applying my research, I hope to model the relationship between social media and identity through my dress design. In a final presentation, I will merge the podcast narrative with a showcase of the dress, revealing how my findings can translate into an interpretive art form. 

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Anna Green ‘21

How the Past Informs the Present: an Examination of Contested Historical Figures, Public Art, and Civic Nationalism 

For my Creative Works Fellowship project, I am seeking to examine the ways that European nations represent contested historical figures through publicly-funded mediums. I have worked with Professor Pears, my advisor, to refine my research question and design a research plan. I intend to visit four cities—London, Paris, Berlin, and Krakow—over six weeks. In each city, I will examine 1-3 key historical figures and their representation in national museums, monuments, and relics to understand how various governments portray their national history to the public. I am also going to visit private collections, speak to experts and/or locals to evaluate whether or not governments’ portrayals aligns with peoples’ perceptions of these figures. The Creative Works Fellowship stipulates a creative research output; for my project, I am going to make a digital publication that combines my research with reflections and mementos from the trip. Through my research, I hope to begin answering the question: what figures do nations idolize and how do these choices impact citizens’ feelings towards the government and feelings of patriotism? Ultimately, I hope to develop a better understanding of how European countries preserve controversial figures within the broader scope of their national history, while examining different means to address these figures without undermining citizens’ sense of civic nationalism.  


Caroline Eastburn ‘20

Do You Like Me? The Self After Selfies 

Do You Like Me? The Self After Selfies is an artistic exploration of conceptions of self within today’s media saturated society. We are surrounded by everyone’s curated image of self through their Instagram feeds and Snapchat stories. We are constantly bombarded with bent truths, highly personalized advertisements, and an increasingly self-conscious cohort. We already know that social media can be dangerous, but how does it change the way we present ourselves? Cindy Sherman paved the way for extreme exercises in self portraiture and representations of self, but how are artists now reacting to our oversaturation of media content? Specifically, how do we react to an oversaturation of self-portraiture or now known as “selfies”? 

Do You Like Me? The Self After Selfies  will exhibit five artists working in all mediums responding to these questions and the anxiety self-representation produces today. Essentially, how do they present to the world? The show, set in a pop-up space in the East Village for one day only, is itself a representation of myself as I examine my own relationship to curation and art historical context. My occupation of the space and my thinking surrounding the work is inherently a representation of self. I will ask visitors to relate it to their own experience and respond with how their sense of self has now been altered by existing in the space. Do You Like Me? The Self After Selfies is an exercise in conceptions of self by artists, viewers, and myself.