Theme: Creativity and Resilience

Word Count: 1,000 words maximum

Deadline: March 14, 2024

Prompt: The Humanities often require us to think creatively about the kind of work we do and the way we approach this work. How has this creative reflection helped you become more resilient?


  • 1st Place: $500
  • Runner-up: $250
  • Runner-up: $250

Both undergraduate and graduate students are invited to participate. Please send all submissions and any questions to


Things to Consider:

  • Synthesize your personal experience with other thinkers or ideas. You are encouraged to include a secondary source, but it is not required.
  • Focus on one key event or moment from your humanities education. This could be a memorable experience in a class or a museum, or a striking idea you pulled from a literary work or piece of art.
  • Resilience has many definitions—any of which you might consider referencing. Biologists, for example, discuss resilience as the “return rate to equilibrium,” while psychologists speak of resilience in terms of “bouncing-back” and recovery. In this sense, researchers frequently identify resilience both as (1) flexibility, adaptability, and the capacity to transform, and (2) a kind of recovery, a form of healing. In other words, resilient individuals—and resilient communities—manifest the ability to respond to complexity, uncertainty, pain, and ever-changing environments in ways that promote healing and wholeness.
  • Creativity also has many definitions you might consider referencing. Morris Stein wrote that “Creativity is the act of making things or solving problems in ways that are both new and useful,” while Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi found that creativity was commonly used to refer to people who express unusual, interesting, or novel perspectives and ideas. According to these definitions, creativity is closely related to (1) a sense of usefulness, and (2) a sense of newness. There are many ways in which something could be useful or new, especially when we consider that the term “creative” does not only describe people, but may also describe objects and activities as well.