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Creativity as practice, promise, force, concept and rhetoric has become ubiquitous within and without the academy, emerging of late as a key concept within international politics and across a range of disciplines, not least of all Geography. But yet, this is a field of study fractured in its diversity and riven with tensions. Creativity is variously understood as, for example, the  ‘oil of the twenty first century’, as a tool of neo-liberal politics and part of the diplomatic arsenal of state-craft practices, as a psychological trait and philosophical concept, as well as being an embodied, material and social practice, that holds within it myriad possibilities for alternative political, subjective and world-making practices.

Through an interrogation of the critical geographies of creativity, this proposed text will develop a decisive discussion of creativity, not just for geographers, but for interdisciplinary scholars of creativity more generally. It will proffer these critical geographies as the means to engage with the relations and tensions between diverse ideas and practices of creativity. The unique contribution this text makes therefore, is to acknowledge the diversity of ideas and practices of creativity, not in order to collapse them, but rather to turn a critical lens onto these relations, drawing out both the similarities, but also the productive and critical tensions that exist between these different ideas of creativity and the forms of creative practices.

Offering the first accessible but conceptually sophisticated account of the critical geographies of creativity, the text will use inset boxes featuring “key ideas”, “case studies” and “research”, to make accessible central concepts, cutting-edge research and methodological debates.

Harriet Hawkins is a Lecturer in Human Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.