Towards a Holistic Model for the Study of Creativity in Enslaved African Communities
Diane S. Butler
Thesis DT 3.5 1997 B98
v, 109 leaves; 29 cm.
This thesis seeks to develop a holistic model of creative expressions in order to advance the study of enslaved Africans. The purpose of the model is not to compartmentalize creativity, but to propose constructs which might lead to the discovery of as many levels of complexity and manifestations of creativity as possible. The proposed model is designed to be compatible with a variety of disciplinary approaches and might be of considerable heuristic value in understanding the many and diverse ways Africans in America express themselves.
This study suggests that the holistic model of creative expressions proposed here is useful for several applications. First, the model is used as a historiographic tool to determine the extent to which historians have incorporated evidence and interpretations of creative expressions in their studies. Second, the model is applied to storytelling in order to deepen our understanding of this creative form by posing new questions. Finally, the author suggests how each category of the model might serve to unify seemingly disparate activities of enslaved Africans, thereby underlining the creativity involved in these acts. Many studies of slave life do not give adequate consideration to the centrality of creative expressions themselves. This study seeks to illuminate areas which have not been adequately emphasized nor deemed creative.