In the fall semester of 2010, the Scripps College Humanities Institute will be holding a semester-long program on “Engagement: Mind, Body and Soul.” The initial talk will be given by Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi of the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology in the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University. Professor Csikszentmihalyi is the director of the Quality of Life Research Center (QLRC). The QLRC is a non-profit research institute that studies "positive psychology"; that is, human strengths such as optimism, creativity, intrinsic motivation, and responsibility. His books include the bestselling Flow, Being Adolescent, The Evolving Self, and Creativity. He is a member of the American Academy of Education, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Leisure Sciences.
He is noted for his work in the study of happiness and creativity, but is best known as the architect of the notion of "flow" — a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation — and for his years of research and writing on the topic. He is the author of many books and over 120 articles or book chapters. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, described Csikszentmihalyi as the world's leading researcher on positive psychology.
What does it mean to be engaged mind, body and soul? Some call it being in the "flow," others describe it as living life to the fullest. But what is the process by which engagement occurs? Does it require the right interaction of emotions, skills, and faith? Among the topics to be examined are the management of emotions, political economies of attention, and systems of beliefs, to specifically address how they affect social actors and prompt social action. In contrast to states of activity, apathy, boredom and indifference will be explored in the context of mind, body, and soul engagement. Is it possible for these states to be productive? This seminar will explore these and other questions with scholars, performers and activists in diverse fields through our lecture, film, and performance series.