Creativity and health: an anti-humanist reflection

Health (London). 2013 Sep;17(5):495-511. doi: 10.1177/1363459312464074. Epub 2012 Dec 13.


Many studies suggest that health benefits from engaging with the creative arts, but explanations of the association remain tenuous. This article explores both creativity and health from an anti-humanist perspective and develops a Deleuze-inspired analysis to supply the theoretical framework for creativity and health. In this view, creativity is an active, experimenting flow within a network or assemblage of bodies, things, ideas and institutions, while health is understood as the capacity of a body to affect and be affected by this assemblage. It is consequently unsurprising that there is a relationship between creative activity and health. This analysis is used to explore how creative production and reception can affect health, and to assess the implications for sociology and for arts in health-care practice.

Keywords: Affect; Deleuze; anti-humanism; art; assemblage; creativity; health.

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Art
  • Creativity*
  • Health*
  • Humanism
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical