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Making Sense

Beauty, Creativity, and Healing

Edited By Bandy Lee, Nancy Olson and Thomas Duffy

Regardless of field, from the art world to healthcare delivery, there is a growing need for practically useful theory and theoretically informed practice. The time is ripe for a collaborative, creative conversation among thinkers and doers who are concerned about the larger world and our role in it. Making Sense: Beauty, Creativity, and Healing is a collection of essays and creative expressions written and produced in relation to a colloquium that tried to address these matters at the Whitney Humanities Center of Yale University. Beginning with a powerful essay on the individually and globally therapeutic qualities of art and beauty by Elaine Scarry of Harvard University, this volume brings together a diversity of theoretically minded scholars, scientists, artists, and healers. In the form of critical and reflective essays, alongside images, poetry, and fiction, this book allows the reader to experience the bursts of ideas and sensory triggers that respond to and extend the artistic installations and performances of the colloquium – and welcomes the reader into the conversation.
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Beauty, Longing, and Fear


by Katy Martin and Linda Cummings

Linda Cummings Interviewed by Katy Martin

LC: There are many aspects of Elaine Scarry’s talk that resonate with my approach to beauty. One is her concept of regard, that beauty has to do with an ethical position related to how one regards the other, and that is the root of concepts of fairness and legal structures. I think of that idea of regard in terms of caring, so for me, beauty relates to something that I care about. The more I care about it, the more I’m interested in pursuing it and the closer I want to get to it.

A second aspect is that for her, beauty is in the particular, not in the general observation of something.

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