2016 Bodies of Care: Somaesthetics of Vulnerability Call for Papers
The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture invites proposals for papers to be presented at a 2-day conference, January 28–29, 2016, at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton.
Bodies are obviously the targets of one’s daily care in terms of personal hygiene, grooming, exercise, and proper nourishment. They are also objects of care in the sense of worry or concern, since we all suffer illness and death through our bodies. However, the sentient, purposive, active body or soma is also a subjectivity that examines and cares for the body as object, whether it be one’s own body or the bodies of others who one wants to help or comfort. We all need such curative help or comfort at some point in our lives; and some people devote their professional and personal lives to giving such care. Bodies need and give care in many ways and for many reasons: to overcome illness and disability, to address and alleviate dependence, to learn new skills and remedy bad habits, to inspire greater confidence for personal flourishing and greater social betterment. This conference will examine the wide range of somatic conditions that require care and the variety of somatic methods of providing such care, while exploring how these conditions and methods are represented in cultural theory, health and wellness studies, literature, and the arts.
Selected papers may be developed for publication in The Journal of Somaesthetics (http://somaesthetics.wordpress.com/) or in an edited book based on the conference papers.
Abstracts of 250 words, and a current CV, should be sent electronically as attachments, no later than October 15, 2015, to Richard Shusterman at email@example.com. Please direct conference inquiries to the same address. Further information about the conference will be made available at http://www.fau.edu/bodymindculture, where you can also consult the programs of our prior international conferences. Prospective speakers will be notified by mid-November, 2015.
2014 Mindful Body in the Arts of Eating Call for Papers
The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture invites proposals for papers to be presented at a 3-day conference, January 23–25, 2014, at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton.
Eating is an essential activity for human life, and without such life there is no thought, no theory, no art. While eating is a need, knowing how to eat is often said to be an art that requires intelligence, knowledge, and imaginative creativity. As another maxim puts it: Animals feed; humans eat; and the wise know how to eat. What considerations guide our eating? How could we make them more intelligent and rewarding? A multitude of diverse factors affect our forms of eating and our choice of food: economic, medical, gustatory, ethical, social, and aesthetic. How do we balance them for a more mindful, healthier, more gratifying art of eating?
This conference will explore the art of eating by considering the different sciences and arts that examine and guide the ways we eat and drink. These include the various fields that impact gastronomical theory (from health sciences and cooking to agriculture and economics) and fields that concern the ways food and eating are represented in literature, social theory, and the arts.
Abstracts of 250 words, and a current CV, should be sent electronically as attachments, no later than October 15, 2013, to Richard Shusterman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please direct conference inquiries to the same address. Further information about the conference will be made available at http://www.fau.edu/bodymindculture, where you can also consult the programs of our prior international conferences. Prospective speakers will be notified by November 15, 2013.
2013 Somaesthetics Essay Prize Competition Call for Papers
The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture at Florida Atlantic University is pleased to announce its second annual Somaesthetics Essay Prize competition. The award for the 2013 prize will be $500. Essays should be academic in style and focus on the interdisciplinary field of somaesthetics from such perspectives as philosophy, aesthetics, art history and theory, literary and cultural studies, dance, design, music, theatre, cognitive science, gender and sexuality studies, sports, movement, and health studies.
Submissions should be between 6,000 and 9,000 words in length including notes and references, and should be emailed in Word format to email@example.com. The deadline for submissions is September 1, 2013, and the prize winner will be announced in December 2013. Essays will be evaluated by an interdisciplinary panel of judges appointed by the Center for Body, Mind, and Culture.
2012 Somaesthetics Essay Prize Winner
The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture at Florida, Atlantic University is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Somesthetics Essay Prize competition. Among many excellent submissions, two outstanding essays will share the prize. "Performing the Renaissance Body and Mind: Somaesthetic Style and Devotional Practice at the Sacro Monte di Varallo," by Allie Terry-Fritsch (Bowling Green State University USA) investigates the somaesthetic dimensions of a fifteenth-century simulation of the Holy Land in northern Italy. The meticulously researched essay vividly conveys the ways that techniques of bodily experience intersected with devotional practices in Italian Renaissance culture. "Somaesthetics as a Discipline Between Pragmatist Philosophy and Philosophical Anthropology," by Salvatore Tedesco (Palermo University, Italy) engages in a thorough and nuanced analysis of the relations between somaesthetics and the history of aesthetic theory since Alexander Baumgarten, before going on to consider somaesthetics' affinities and differences with twentieth-century philosophical anthropology. Tedesco's essay had been published in a special issue of Pragmatism Today devoted to somaesthetics:"Affect, Aesthetics, and the Body: Varieties of Somaesthetics," vol. 3 no.2 (winter 2012) accessible via http://www.pragmatismtoday.eu/index.php?id=2012winter2 . We congratulate both winners for their excellent work. A call for submissions to the Somaesthetics Essay Prize for 2013 is forthcoming.
Special Documentary Screening and Master Class
Lawnswood Gardens is a documentary portrait of Zygmunt Bauman (1924- ), the world-renowned social theorist and philosopher who was driven out of Poland by an anti-semitic campaign engineered by the Communist government in 1968 and then became Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds, England. A central theme in his work is the status of the stranger and the challenge that strangers pose to society’s sense of order. He develops this idea in his most famous book, Modernity and the Holocaust (1989). Bauman is also famous for his writings on postmodernism and consumerism and his concept of “liquid modernity.” Lawnswood Gardens is based on the filmmaker’s four-day long visit at Bauman’s home and provides a moving and provocative glimpse of the philosopher’s life as well as his ideas.
Pawel Kuczynski is a graduate of the famous Lodz Film Academy (whose famous alumni include Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wajda, and Krzysztof Kieślowski) and specializes in documentary films about intellectuals and philosophical topics. Currently based in Warsaw, he previously worked many years in Hollywood. This February he is a visiting scholar at the Center for Body, Mind, and Culture of the Dorothy F. Schmidt, College of Arts and Letters, where he working on a new film related to research being done at the Center.
The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture is grateful to the School of Communications for its collaboration in this double-event to mark the visit of Pawel Kuczynski, which also enjoys the collaboration of the Philosophy Club, the English Graduate Student Society, and the Commercial Music program.
2013 Body and Technology: Instruments of Somaesthetics Conference Press Release
FAU’s Center for Body, Mind and Culture Presents
‘Body and Technology: Instruments of Somaesthetics’
BOCA RATON, Fla. (January 7 , 2013) – The Center for Body, Mind and Culture in Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters is hosting an international conference titled “Body and Technology: Instruments of Somaesthetics” on Thursday, Jan. 24 and Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 in the Arts and Humanities Building, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.
“I am delighted that the Center is organizing this important international and transdisciplinary conference which highlights the richly complex interaction between body and technology,” said Richard Shusterman, Ph.D., Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in the Humanities and director of the Center for Body, Mind, and Culture. “Too often our society opposes the living body to the tools of technology, forgetting that the body is itself our tool of tools; just as our culture too often contrasts technology and the arts, forgetting that they share a common creative source and etymological history – techne being the Greek word for art. Here at the Center, we aim to integrate scientific, humanistic, and artistic research to promote ways that enrich our somaesthetic understanding and thus improve the quality of our embodied experience.”
Regarding the body as a sentient soma rather than as a merely material machine, this conference will examine the complex relationship between body and technology, exploring how the body, as our basic instrument for living, has been reshaped by the technologies it has developed – changing our somatic habits through which we experience and act in the world while also altering the body through various forms of mechanical or chemical enhancement.
Conference presenters include distinguished experts and academics from France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Australia, Canada, England, Ireland and China, as well as from American universities such as the University of Virginia, Bucknell University and the University of Florida. Their presentations feature the somatic role and impact of technologies of human-computer interaction, the application of somatic-related technologies to contemporary visual and musical arts, biotechnologies of health, wellness, athletics and the impact of technology on how the body is treated in other practices and environments, including the legal courtroom.
This is the eighth international conference of the Center for Body, Mind, and Culture since its establishment in 2007.
There is no conference registration fee, however advanced registration is required. To register, or for more information, visit www.fau.edu/bodymindculture/Conferences.php, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2013 Conference Call For Papers:
Body and Technology: Instruments of Somaesthetics
The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture invites proposals for papers to be presented at a 3-day conference, January 24-26, 2013, at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton.
The human body is our basic instrument for life, the basis for the creation and use of all our other tools or technologies. As the body has shaped technology, so technology is increasingly reshaping the body: not only by reshaping our bodily habits through which we experience and act in the world but also through the incorporation of prosthetic devices and drug enhancements. Regarding the body as a sensitive sentient soma, rather than as a merely material machine, this conference rethinks the relationship between body and technology, focusing on such topics as human-computer interaction, robotics, medical and fitness technologies, technology and the environment, and technologies of the arts. We welcome papers from the perspectives of both the sciences and the humanities.
Abstracts of 250 words, and a current CV, should be sent electronically as attachments, no later than October 1, 2012, to Richard Shusterman at email@example.com
Please direct conference inquiries to the same address. Further information about the conference will be made available at http://www.fau.edu/bodymindculture, where you can also consult the programs of our prior international conferences. Prospective speakers will be notified by November 8, 2012.
Somaesthetics Essay Prize Contest
The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture at Florida Atlantic University is pleased to announce its first annual Somaesthetics Essay Prize competition. The award for the 2012 prize will be $500. Essays should be academic in style and focus on the interdisciplinary field of somaesthetics from such perspectives as philosophy, aesthetics, art history and theory, literary and cultural studies, dance, design, music, theatre, cognitive science, gender and sexuality studies, sports, movement, and health studies. The prize essay will be recommended for publication in an upcoming special issue of the philosophical journal Pragmatism Today on somaesthetics.
Submissions should be between 6,000 and 9,000 words in length, including notes and references, and should be e-mailed in Word format to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submission of essays is September 15, 2012, and the prize winner will be announced in December 2012. Essays will be evaluated by an interdisciplinary panel of judges appointed by the Center for Body, Mind, and Culture.
Citation Style: Essays should follow the guidelines specified in the Chicago Manual of Style.
Bibliographies on Somaesthetics: Several lists of texts on somaesthetics can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/somaesthetics/home/somaesthetics-texts.
The Université Paris 1 ‒ Panthéon Sorbonne held a one-day conference, on May 25th, 2012, to mark the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Richard Shusterman’s Pragmatist Aesthetics: Living Beauty, Rethinking Art. To accompany the conference and trace the impact of Shusterman’s work not only in aesthetics, philosophy, and the human sciences but also in contemporary art, the Sorbonne will also be organizing an art show.
This twofold project is organized by the Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne, Faculty of Arts Plastiques et Sciences de l’Art (UMR ACTE, Arts ‒ Créations ‒ Théories ‒ Esthétiques). French institutional partners in the project include the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Faculty of Philosophy (Equipe de recherche Philosophies Contemporaines) and the Ecole Normale Supérieure d’Ulm: Centre International de Recherches en Philosophie, Lettres, Savoirs. The project is also supported by other international partners: Peking University’s Center for Aesthetics and Aesthetic Education; China’s Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing) and Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.
For more information, click here .
Previous Conferences and Programs:
The Center for Body, Mind and Culture hosted Mindful Body in Healing and the Arts January 19-20, 2012 at FAU in Boca Raton. The keynote lecture, given by Professor Anne Harrington of Harvard University, was entitled "The Cure Within". Regarding the body as sentient, purposive subjectivity (rather than mere physical flesh), the conference focused on ways that somatic mindfulness can contribute to health, healing, and aesthetic experience. Presentations dealt with disciplines of mindful body consciousness (Asian and Western) and their applications in the areas of wellness, fitness, and the arts.
The Center for Body, Mind and Culture and the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies hosted a two-day conference, December 2nd and 3rd, at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton entitled "Bodies of Art." The keynote speaker was the internationally acclaimed artist ORLAN. In conjunction with ORLAN’s participation as a keynote speaker in the “Bodies of Art” symposium at FAU, the University Galleries presented ORLAN Resurfacing: Surgery-Performance Photos and Recent Works, from December 1, 2010 to January 22, 2011 in the Schmidt Center Gallery Public Space. For more information on this conference including the individual titles and abstracts of each presentation, click here.
Dr. Wojciech Malecki, a visiting scholar at the Center in Spring 2010, gave a paper "Borat, Multicultural Implications" at Webster University.
Ms. Hyijin Lee, Visiting Scholar at FAU’s Center for Body, Mind, and Culture (and doctoral student of Tokyo University) was appointed as a Research Fellow at the Lifelong Learning and Human Resources Development Institute of Soongsil University’s College of Education, one of Korea’s main centers for research in education, located in Seoul.
The Departments of English and Languages, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature Present “Between Post-communism and Post-colonialism: Literary Studies in Central/Eastern Europe,” a lecture by Dr. Wojciech Malecki, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Philology, the University of Wroclaw, Poland. Free and open to the public.
Associate Updates, 2009
On Sunday, October 4, 2009 Professor Kenneth Holloway gave a presentation on his book Guodian The Newly Discovered Seeds of Chinese Religious and Political Philosophy at the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach. For more information click here.
Dr. Jane Caputi contributed "Character Assassinations: Hate Messages in Election 2008 Commercial Paraphernalia" to the Denver University Law Review special issue on the historic election of President Barack Obama and participated in the NEH Summer Seminar, “A Fierce Green Fire: The Environmental Philosophy of Aldo Leopold,” in Prescott, AZ , June 20- July 18. Professor Caputi was also awarded the Green Consciousness: Reattachment to the Mother/Earth grant of $50,000.00 from the Frederick Leonhardt Foundation, to produce an educational film.
The Center will host a Conference on Art and Ritual in Asian Cultures, March 20-21, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Florida. To view the conference web page click here.
Center Associate Director Dr. Kenneth Holloway's new book Guodian The Newly Discovered Seeds of Chinese Religious and Political Philosophy was published by Oxford University Press in January.
Center Director Dr. Richard Shusterman received a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship for the Summer 2009.
"Celebration of China" Friday, February 13, 2009 Come and meet our two Visiting Chinese Scholars At the Center Dr. Pang Fei, Professor of Chinese Aesthetics at Zhejiang University of Technology and Gong Ming a Doctoral student in Literary Theory at Peking University and hear about the China-related research books from Center Fellows Professor Wenying Xu ( English), author of Eating Identities: Reading Food in Asian American Literature, University of Hawaii Press (2008) and Professor Ken Holloway ( History), author of Guodian The Newly Discovered Seeds of Chinese Religious and Political Philosophy, Oxford University Press (2009).
The Center hosted an international conference Bodies in Motion: Explorations in Perception and Performance in Boca Raton, December 4-6, 2008. To view the conference web page click here.
During the fall semester the Center hosted three presentations as part of the Coffee Colloquium series:
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 Professor Oliver Buckton ( English) presented: "Robert Louis Stevenson, William Gladstone, and the Politics of Late-Victorian Masculinity."
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 Professor Michael Horswell (Languages and Linguistics) spoke about: "Re-writing Imperial Subjects of Treason: Amazons and Cañaris in Spanish Transatlantic Literature."
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 Professor Benno Lowe ( History) discussed: "Commonwealth and Reformation: Protestantism and the Politics of Religious Change in the Gloucester Vale (1350-1560)."
The Center hosted two international scholars this semester:
Hans-Peter Krueger, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Potsdam, was here for two weeks in March on a Transcoop Humboldt Foundation Grant to participate in collaborative research on embodiment.
Professor Kacper Bartczak, a poet, critic, and scholar of American studies at the University of Lodz and Academy of Management in Lodz, visited FAU from 3/18-6/15. A grant from the Kosciuszko Foundation funded his visit. While here Professor Bartczak conducted research on American poetics and its relationship to pragmatist philosophy.
Check the events page for information about a conference the Center hosted for the scholars.
Dr. Wenying Xu has published a new book titled, Eating Identities: Reading Food in Asian American Literature . The book is available through UH Press and Amazon.com. Or click here for the order form.
Dr. Richard Shusterman has published a new book titled, Body Consciousness: A Philosophy of Mindfulness and Somaesthetics . The book is available through Cambridge University Press and Amazon.com.
Associate Updates, 2008
In addition to publishing a new book, Eating Identities: Reading Food in Asian American Literature (April 2008), Dr. Wenying Xu has recently appeared as a co-guest editor for Multiethnic Literatures and Food: A MELUS Special Issue (Winter 2007) and published an article in Cultural Critique titled, "Masculinity, Food, and Appetite in Frank Chin's Donald Duk and 'The Eat and Run Midnight People'" (Spring 2007).
Dr. Richard Shusterman has just published Body Consciousness: A Philosophy of Mindfulness and Somaesthetics (January 2008). He also contributed "Entertainment Value: Intrinsic, Instrumental, and Transactional" to a collection titled, Beyond Price: Value in Culture, Economics, and the Arts (2008), and published articles in Common Knowledge (Spring-Fall 2007), Recherches en Esthétique (October 2007), and the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (Winter 2007). Dr. Shusterman's new research has recently been featured in articles and interviews in Le Monde , Le Point , Art Press , Les Inrockuptibles , and in a radio interview on France Culture . In May, he will be speaking at the Moderna Museet. Information about the presentation can be found here, with more general information about events available here.
Dr. Jane Caputi's documentary, The Pornography of Everyday Life , has been screening around the country at universities and conferences, as well as at the National Women's Studies Association Film Series. Dr. Caputi has also recently published articles in Ethics and the Environment ("Green Consciousness: Earth Based Myth and Meaning in Shrek" in Fall/Winter 2007) and The Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture ("Overkill: Why Excess and Conflict are both Sexy and Sacred" in Winter 2007).
Press Release: Florida Atlantic University and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne Enter into International Collaboration Agreement. Universities to work on joint research projects, publications, seminars and exchange programs.
BOCA RATON, FL (November 19, 2007) – Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and the Université Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne (Sorbonne) recently signed an agreement of collaboration in research and teaching to explore different teaching and research programs with the aim of enhancing the knowledge and skills of the academic staff and to improve the educational options of students at both universities. Collaboration efforts will include joint research projects, colloquia and seminars, joint publications, teaching and research staff exchanges, and student exchange programs. The primary focus of study will be in aesthetics, the fine arts, and the philosophy and criticism of the arts.
“The Sorbonne is one of Europe’s most important centers of research and teaching with a long and prestigious tradition of influence in the field of culture,” said Dr. Richard Shusterman, the Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at FAU. “I have had the pleasure of working with colleagues at the Sorbonne, and participating in research and teaching programs there. We are delighted that this agreement will formalize and deepen our special relationship and mutual commitment to research and teaching in the arts and the humanities.”
Professor Marc Jimenez, director of the Laboratory of Theoretical and Applied Aesthetics at the Sorbonne, said, “My research center is very happy to see the establishment of this agreement with FAU that will enable fruitful exchanges in research and teaching, and build on the special relationship which we already have with Professor Shusterman, who has contributed significantly to the dialogue between French and American philosophy through his numerous publications in French and his frequent lectures in Paris.”
In what will be the first of a series of colloquia and seminars involving the Sorbonne and France, Shusterman and the Center for Body, Mind and Culture, in cooperation with the cultural service of the French Consulate of Miami/French Embassy of the United States, will be hosting a bilingual conference entitled, “French Philosophy and Contemporary Art,” December 3-4 at FAU’s Boca Raton campus.
The conference will include leading French philosophers, critics and artists including representatives from the Sorbonne and other important institutions, along with internationally distinguished scholars and artists from elsewhere in Europe and North America. The event provides a timely background to the annual Miami-Basel international festival of contemporary art which opens this year on December 6.
“International collaboration is especially important for studying the fields of art and culture in today’s multicultural world of rapid change,” said Professor Dominique Chateau, past director of the Doctoral School of Arts and Art Sciences at the Sorbonne who helped initiate the agreement with FAU and the Sorbonne. Shusterman was appointed earlier as a full member of this Doctoral School of Arts.
The Center for Body, Mind and Culture is the initiative of Shusterman, and it deploys the college’s wide-ranging disciplinary perspectives on body, mind and culture – ranging from philosophy and history, through social, communicational and literary studies, to the performing and plastic arts. The center is an interdisciplinary initiative dedicated to promoting research, programming and teaching concerning the body-mind-culture nexus. Through collaborative networks within FAU and external organizations, the center is engaged not only in scholarly research and teaching, but also pursues a mission of public outreach serving diverse populations in the South Florida region who have a strong interest in topics relating to the body-mind-culture nexus. These topics include health and illness, fitness and disability, body image in art and culture, fashion, cosmetics, athletics, nutrition, sexuality and gender, sensory motor learning and therapies, performing arts, martial arts, spirituality and meditation and other body-mind disciplines (Western and non-Western). The center’s associate director is Dr. Kenneth W. Holloway, Levenson Professor of Asian Studies.
For more information about the center and upcoming events visit www.fau.edu/bodymindculture or call 561-297-0851.
The Center hosted the Revisiting the French Connection conference on French Philosophy and Contemporary Art. This international, bilingual conference took place on December 3-4, 2007. For more information, click (for English) ou cliquer (pour français).
On November 27, from 4-5 PM, the Center featured William F. Dietrich Eminent Scholar and Professor of Philosophy, Lester Embree at a Coffee Colloquium in AH 108. For more information about this free event, visit the events page.
The Center began a new series of Coffee Colloquiums with poet Susan Mitchell, Mary Blossom Lee Chair in FAU's English Department. For more information, visit our events page.
Programs include seminars and conferences with visiting speakers from outside the FAU committee and a regular monthly coffee colloquium featuring talks by FAU faculty. If you would like to speak at our coffee colloquium, please contact us. For more details on already scheduled events, see our events page.
Center member and Visiting Assistant Professor in Dance, Clarence Brooks was the 2006 recipient of the Clyde Fyfe Award for Performing Artists. Given by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council, the award recognizes the artistic development and community service of an emerging Palm Beach County performing artist whose life and work emulate those of the late Clyde Fyfe, the Palm Beach County impresario and arts leader.
Center Member and Professor Women’s Studies and Communications, Jane Caputi has completed a film entitled The Pornography of Everyday Life which will be distributed by Berkeley Media.
Center Director Richard Shusterman gave the keynote Kneller Lecture at the annual conference of the Philosophy of Education Society at Atlanta in March. He also directed a seminar at the Fulbright Summer Institute in Moscow in June (the other American seminar Director was Michael Holquist, Emeritus Professor of Comparative Literature at Yale, and the current President of the MLA). In July Professor Shusterman gave an invited plenary lecture at the 14 International Congress of Aesthetics in Turkey.
Center member and Associate Professor of English, Wenying Xu has recently signed a contract with Hawai’i University Press for her new book Eating Identities: Reading Food in Asian American Literature.