Mental Health and Self-Expression in the Arts

With M Gillian Carrabré

Artists have long struggled with their mental health. Among them, Rachmaninoff, Schumann, Van Gogh and Michael Jackson. The theme of this section of WRDS 150 is mental health and self-expression in the arts. We will examine articles from a range of disciplines, including musicology, theory, art, literature, music therapy. How do scholars consider the topic of mental health across these diverse fields of artistic discourse? How do musicians navigate the creation of art while dealing with mental illness? And how do we write about these issues as budding academics? Through the artistic work of William Shakespeare, Hector Berlioz, Avicii, Edvard Munch, Chuck Palahniuk, Linkin Park, Oscar Wilde and others, students will develop an understanding of the effects of mental health on the output of art and vice versa. Using the lens provided by our theme, students will learn to apply modern research techniques, think critically, and compose relevant academic papers in Chicago Style, the primary writing style in musical discourse. The classroom will embrace an inclusive mentality, cultivate respect among colleagues, and allow space for creativity.