To exemplify and embody applications of creative leadership, demonstrate the arts and culture as a leader-ful praxis, and illustrate its value in creating new knowledge as well as in interdisciplinary knowledge exchange and in catalysing social change, I am regularly invited to teach on Postgraduate Taught (PGT) degrees beyond the arts and humanities. Since 2018 I have been an invited Visiting Lecturer to teach on two MSc programmes. Over the years, I have loved working with students and staff who are from all walks, ages, cultural and disciplinary backgrounds:
- St Georges University London (SGUL) & Birkbeck: Global Health Humanities MSc. ‘How to Think about Running’. Part of Finding a Leg to Stand On: Clinical, Critical and Creative Approaches to Human Body & Open Spaces (medicine, science & healthcare with humanities, arts & enterprise). Convenors: Dr Deborah Padfield (art-science leader and artist with whom I did my PhD at Slade), Professor of Offender Health Care Anna Bartlett, and Professor of Modern Literature and Critical Theory Jo Winning.
- King’s College London (KCL): Affective Disorder MSc. On Creativity. Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience. Convenor: Reader in Neuroscience of Mental Health Education Dr Patricia Zunszain, Department of Psychological Medicine.
Feedback have been consistently positive, further attested by my regular/annual invitations to teach on the courses. They include:
It was great! I loved the session!KCL Affective DISORDER MSc Programme convenor Dr Patricia Zunszain
The session was extremely engaging and fun, thank you so much for putting in the effort to run the activity and encourage discussion 🙂 I think we all enjoyed it and learned a lot that way.Participants of KCL AFFECTIVE DISORDER MSC
Thank you for everything! It was an incredible lecture and promoted critical thinking (not just for critically appraising research papers)Participant
Your contribution to the session last year was so wonderful it would be really lovely to include it again.SGUL GLOBAL HEALTH HUMANITIES MSC ORGANISERS
ABOUT MY COURSE AT KCL AFFECTIVE DISORDER MSc
- The session I have designed for at Kings explores the messy and magical entanglements between affective disorders (like depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders) and creativity (encompassing ‘big C’ like genius inventions across to the professional creative arts and small, everyday creativity).
- My approach as a teacher seek to dispel both romantic/exceptionalist (and ultimately othering) tropes that mythologise the suffering of creatives, as well as medical/deficit models that pathologise/medicalise difference and de-humanise/demonise/other people. I have, since 2021, focused my session on developing students’ critical and creative thinking, as well as their discursive skills and most importantly, empathy, to bring into the clinical space when working with patients.
- My creative intervention is significant given that the participants of the course comprise health professionals like psychiatrists, GPs, psychologists, neuroscientists, biomedicine, related medical professionals and pharmaceutical scientists, and that the course is offered under the world-leading Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience which is renowned for its research on the study of — and fixing — the human brain and mind, and where I was previously an artist-in-residence who led an award-winning art-psychiatry commission.
- The session draws on my extensive research across creativity and psychiatry, professional observations as well as lived experience as a neurodivergent person. I have also designed my course in response to Kings’ students’ diverse professional and academic backgrounds as well as intellectual capacity for challenge.
- Process: I break students into groups to discuss their diverse and sometimes divergent viewpoints based on readings that myself and Dr Zunszain have sourced and set. Within their small groups, students (co-)create post-it notes to outline their arguments. This is followed by an open discussion – and we end with new questions, instead of deterministic/reductive conclusions.
ABOUT KCL AFFECTIVE DISORDER MSc
- According to the course website, the Affective Disorders MSc offers the study of all aspects of affective disorders, ranging from their characterisation and assessment to the challenges in treating these conditions.
- The course is designed to be interdisciplinary and its focus is on both biological and psychological aspects. It is therefore suitable for students who seek to broaden their knowledge beyond professional boundaries, such as medicine and psychology.
- The target participants include: psychiatrists, GPs, psychologists, neuroscientists, biomedicine, related medical professionals and pharmaceutical scientists. It is particularly suitable for health professionals who wish to refocus their career and specialise in affective disorders. It is equally suitable for health professionals who already work in a relevant field and wish to gain recognition for their expertise. It is very well suited for psychology graduates who wish to pursue clinical psychology training, or graduates from any related discipline who consider pursuing a research PhD in affective disorders.