NEA Research Lab – Self-Perceptions of Creativity & Agency (Year 1)

Thursday, November 1, 2018, 1:45-3:15pm

Understanding how to foster creativity is an imperative that cuts across many dimensions of social policy, including education, workforce, the economy, and urban and community development. How do self-perceptions of arts-based and other domains of creativity intersect with self-perceptions of agency, which is a fundamental component underlying multiple areas of social policy. This inaugural National Endowment for the Arts’ Research Lab is investigating relationships between arts-based creativity and broader types of creativity.


Megan Robinson received her B.A. in Sociology from Southwestern University in 2013 and her M.A. from Vanderbilt in 2016. Megan is currently a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the department of Sociology at Vanderbilt University. She holds a research position in the National Endowment for the Arts Research Lab: Arts, Creativity, Cognition, and Learning through The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy at Vanderbilt. Her research interests include urban sociology, work and occupations, and the consumption of culture and creativity. Her master’s paper featured a simulated agent-based model which examines the association between knowledge and creative economic and social structures of accumulation, job opportunity, and skills-based displacement. Ongoing projects center around themes of detachment, including an exploration of levels of occupational anomie in the contemporary economy and the identification of processes contributing to the suburbanization of urban poverty and creative city disenfranchisement. Megan’s dissertation will focus on the rise and consequences of local inequality regimes in some of the United States’ fastest growing and most economically competitive cities.