McClane, Kenneth A.

Permanent URI for this collection

Ken McClane, the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of Literature, teaches creative writing and African American Literature. He has published a number of poetry books and a collection of personal essays.

Browse

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Item
    Mind and Memory: Explorations of Creativity in the Arts and Sciences
    Hoffmann, Roald; West, Paul; McClane, Kenneth; DeVoogd, Timothy; Ackerman, Diane; Drell, Persis; Ambegaokar, Vinay; Stucky, Steven; Moon, Francis; Suber, Byron; Kord, Victor; Ammons, A. R.; McConkey, James; Eisner, Thomas (Internet-First University Press, 1996)
    English 301, "Mind and Memory: Explorations of Creativity in the Arts and Sciences," Spring 1996, M-W 2:55-4:10 p.m. (Lectures on Monday, 2:55-4:10 p.m.) Creativity is the attribute of the mind that enables us to make new combinations from often-familiar information, to perceive analogies and other linkages in seemingly unlike elements, to seek for syntheses. As is true of all learning, creativity is dependent upon memory—a memory that is genetic and social as well as personal and experiential. This course will explore the nature of creativity in science and art, indicating the differing requirements for discovery in the disparate disciplines while demonstrating the commonality that underlies the creative process and binds (say) physicist or mathematician to poet, composer, visual artist The opening sessions will be concerned with the crucial role of memory in learning, discovery, and spiritual insight for all humans, and will make reference to recent scientific research into the complex nature of the human brain, including its intimate connections with the rest of the body. Following this introduction, the course will rely on weekly guests from as many disciplines in the arts and sciences as possible, faculty members who will discuss (for interested undergraduates, whatever field they may be preparing to enter) the process underlying their research, or their work as creative or performing artists. The guests will be asked to speak of their goals, the problems they have faced, and what they have learned from their disappointments as well as their achievements. Members of the course are encouraged to enroll in another course or to be engaged in an activity (research or artistic production or performance) in which the insights gained in this class can be applied or tested. To further abet the active participation so necessary to learning, students will be asked to keep a journal, one that summarizes their understanding of, and response to, each presentation by a guest lecturer—a journal that will serve as a continuing record of their experiences as members of the course, and that will become the basic resource for an essay, to be submitted at the semester’s end, that will give their carefully considered assessment of the applicability of what they have learned in this course to that second course or activity, to their own mental processes, and to the future they propose for themselves.
  • Item
    A Conversation with Kenneth A. McClane
    McClane, Kenneth A.; Adams, Barry B. (Internet-First University Press, 2015-07-27)
    Professor Kenneth McClane reflects on his experience as a Cornell freshman, as a member of the Arts College undergraduate College Scholars Program, as a graduate student in the Cornell English Department, and as the distinguished W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of Literature at Cornell. He shares memories of growing up in a Harlem household that entertained prominent participants in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s. He describes his experience as a poet and autobiographical essayist, as well as a teacher in Cornell’s creative writing program (which happened to include assignment to an office in Goldwin Smith Hall once used by Vladimir Nabokov), and reflects on his role as a member of two Cornell presidential search committees conducted by the Cornell Board of Trustees.