— Cultural Sources of Newness

September 2014 Monthly archive

Over lunch in Paris, during a break from reading a dissertation about creativity in research, I found myself reflecting on the connections between distance, anger and the new in academia. In the “Cultural sources of newness” research unit we point out that newness is a quality that is retrospectively attributed to an idea, a practice, or an object. Many things that are “new” are fleeting, and do not achieve the status of “newness.” But all new things are nevertheless significant for a moment, and may become a source of newness–or not–a shift that often depends on power relations. Three cases offered themselves to me during my lunch break, two of which entail anger, an ingredient I have not yet encountered in the literature on newness and innovation. I brought those two cases to lunch with me, then discovered a different one in the sunshine outside the restaurant. 

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