Register now for online Summer College classes

  • Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Cornell University Summer College will be held entirely online.
  • All regular Cornell Summer College online courses will proceed as scheduled. More will be added to the roster throughout the spring.
  • On-campus programs through August 16 are cancelled. We are working to convert many of these on-campus programs into online offerings. Please check your program page frequently for updates.

For more information, see Cornell Summer College & the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Is there a connection between genius & madness, creativity & insanity?

In this program, you'll join others in lively discussions as we try to define "normal" and determine whether creativity is ingenuity, inspiration, or insanity.

You'll trace the history of social and artistic transgression, read texts from Plato to Poe, and discuss when and why our culture decided to call a madman a genius and a genius mad.

Along the way you'll participate in workshops designed to help you develop college-level writing skills, enjoy field trips to Cornell's Johnson Art Museum, and hear from guest lecturers on topics including avant-garde film, Kant's philosophy of art, and madness in classical music.