conference poster

2013 International Conference
Body and Technology: Instruments of Somaesthetics
The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture hosted 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 rethought 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 welcomed papers from the perspectives of both the sciences and the humanities.
Click here to view the conference program.










Conference and Art Exhibition on Pragmatist Aesthetics  L’art à l’état vif affiche Aesthetic Transactions
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 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992), simultaneously published as L’art à l’état vif: la pensée pragmatiste et l’esthétique populaire by Minuit in Paris. The title of the conference is: “Pragmatist Aesthetics: 20 years later” / “L’art à l’état vif: 20 ans après."

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. The exhibition, from May 24th through June 6th, 2012 at the Michel Journiac Gallery in Paris, is entitled ”AESTHETIC TRANSACTIONS: Art et philosophie à l’état vif” or in English “AESTHETIC TRANSACTIONS: Pragmatist Philosophy through Art and Life.” It is curated by Richard Shusterman and includes seven artists with whom he has worked: Luca Del Baldo (Italy); Carsten Höller (Sweden); ORLAN (France); Pan, Gongkai (China); Thecla Schiphorst (Canada); Tatiana Trouvé (France); and Yann Toma (France). At the opening of the exhibition there will be a live performance of the interactive, wearable artwork Tendrils, embodied by Jinsil Seo, the co-creator, with Thecla Schiphorst, of this piece.

The Michel Journiac Gallery is located at 47, rue des Bergers, 75015 Paris; Métro: Lourmel or Charles Michelis;  www.galeriemicheljourniac.sup.fr . Barbara Formis and David Zerbib are providing organizational and curatorial assistance in Paris.

The conference will b e held at the Amphitheatre of the Sorbonne’s adjacent Centre Saint Charles, 47-53, rue des Bergers, 75015 Paris.  The entire project is led by Richard Conte (professor of art and director of the UMR ACTE, U.F.R. 04, Arts Plastiques et Sciences de l’Art, Université Paris 1 ‒  Panthéon Sorbonne) and by Barbara Formis (Maître de Conférences en Esthétique et Philosophie de l’Art, U.F.R. 04, Arts Plastiques et Sciences de l’Art, Université Paris 1 ‒ Panthéon Sorbonne)

Conference speakers will include the exhibited artists (in a panel discussion) and philosophers such as Jean-Pierre Cometti (France) Peng Feng (China), Matthias Girel, (France), Roberto Frega, Giovanni Matteucci, and Salvatore Tedesco (Italy), Sandra Laugier (France), as well as scholars of aesthetics, literature, and the social sciences such as Wojciech Malecki (Poland), Spyros Franguiadakis (France), Chantal Pontbriand (Britain), and Jacinto Lageira (France). The project leaders from the Sorbonne – Barbara Formis and Richard Conte – will give opening talks and Richard Shusterman will provide a concluding lecture.

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 updated details on this conference and art exhibition , click here .


Mindful Body in Healing and the Arts , The Center for Body, Mind and Culture hosted a 2-day conference, January 19th-20th, 2012, with keynote speaker, Anne Harrington, Harvard University, author of "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.

Bodies of Art
, The Center for Body, Mind and Culture and the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies hosted a two-day conference, Dec. 2nd and 3rd, 2010, at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton. Conference themes, with a focus on art and visual culture, include: the embodied artist, concerning issues of maker and material, inscriptions of the self, or the somatic experience of the creative process; the body in pieces (pace Nochlin), considering the fragment, the crop, dismemberment, or erasure; the en-gendered object, how gender and sexuality are expressed, represented or suppressed; the corpus, or other bodily metaphors for the œuvre, canon or process of creation; and finally the body as art, in all its manifestations.

French Cultures of Embodiment , The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture and the French Program in the Department of Languages, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Campus  hosted Conference on French Cultures of Embodiment 25-27 March 2010.To view the conference details, click here.

Conference on Art and Ritual in Asian Cultures , March 20-21, 2009. Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Florida. Click here for the conference schedule. Art and ritual empower individuals to communicate their innermost sentiments across temporal, spatial and social boundaries.   They offer frameworks and media through which bodily confines are transcended through the structuring support of religious and secular institutions.  Art and ritual are exemplary in showing how society shapes our bodily comportment and how, conversely, refined and stylized somatic performance help sustain our institutions and even transform social contexts.

Conference schedule            List of speakers        Conference Flyer       Images from the conference

Bodies in Motion: Explorations in Perception and Performance
, Boca Raton, Dec. 4-5, 2008. The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton organized this conference to explore aspects of embodied perception and performance from a variety of humanistic perspectives. The conference was especially focused on research that treats the issues of embodiment, perception, and performance in connection with the arts and with somaesthetic disciplines of mindfulness. For more details on this conference click here.

The Human Nature and Self: Pragmatist Theory from European Perspectives

This conference took place in the FAU University Center Sago Palm Room from 2 - 4:30 PM on Thursday, March 20, 2008. The conference featured two international guest speakers, Kacper Bartczak and Hans-Peter Krueger.

Dr. Bartczak presented a paper on " Self-creation and Creative Strategies in Neo-pragmatist Philosophy and the Poetry of John Ashbery."
Dr. Krueger presented a paper entitled, " On Human Nature: Dewey's and Plessner's Philosopical Anthropologies."
Discussion followed the papers, along with a response from Dr. Richard Shusterman, Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in the Humanities.

Revisiting the French Connection
This international, bilingual conference on French philosophy and contemporary art took place December 3 and 4, 2007. For more information, click (for English) ou cliquer (pour français).

Minding the Body: Transcultural and Interdisciplinary Perspectives
This inaugural conference of the Center for Body, Mind, and Culture took place March 29 and 30, 2007 in FAU's room PA 101. After an introduction by Richard Shusterman on Thursday, Arthur C. Danto, Johnsonian Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Columbia University and Art Critic for The Nation, delivered a keynote presentation on "The Body in Philosophy and Art."

Friday's presentations included the following: Mark Johnson (U of Oregon) on "The Meaning of the Body: Aesthetic Dimensions of Human Understanding"; Mark Csikszentmihalyi (U of Wisconsin at Madison) on "Material Virtue: Ethics and the Body in Early China"; Shaun Gallagher (U of Central Florida) on "Pathologies of the Lived Body"; Jane Caputi (Florida Atlantic U) on "The Pornography of Everyday Life"; and Marlaine Smith (Florida Atlantic U) on "Touch as Therapy"; as well as commentary and full-panel discussion with additional faculty, including Kenneth Holloway (Florida Atlantic U)
 Last Modified 7/8/15