Dividing the World through Wonder: How We Became Curious

Today one is told: Be curious! This research project originates from an interest in the current unreserved belief in curiosity in Western societies. For example, it is assumed that curiosity produces excited learners, empathetic professionals, healthy individuals, and open-minded travelers. This study examines how and to what effect we have become curious and enchanted with curiosity.

Rather than taking for granted current assumptions concerning the promise of curiosity, this research project is critical of the ‘truth’ and ‘existence’ of curiosity itself. When we are told to be or feel curious, or when we assume that everyone is or should be curious, what are these truths made up of? What do these truths tell us about our sensibilities, our ways of feeling and thinking about the world, learning and knowing about the world, and being together in the world?

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Dr. Joni Vainikka for contributing to the official title of this project and to Prof. Chris Kirchgasler for the opening line.