2016 International Conference
Bodies of Care: Somaesthetics of Vulnerability
The Center for Body, Mind and Culture hosts a 2-Day conference, January 28-29, 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 the 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://journals.aau.dk/index.php/JOS) or in an edited book based on the conference papers.
The conference will take place at the Dorothy F. Schmidt Arts & Humanities building room 205.
The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture hosted a 2-day conference, January 29–30, 2015, at Florida Atlantic University, Boca
Human bodies are shaped not only by their genetic endowment but also by the belief systems of the cultures in which they develop and function. Such belief systems vary from unarticulated background assumptions to ritualized practices and explicit doctrines or even to formulated laws enacted and enforced by social institutions. The beliefs that the human soma embodies and expresses are not confined to established social norms; they also include items of faith and commitment that are individualistic, nonconformist, or even antagonistic to the cultural mainstream. More than a mere instrument of compliance or worship, the soma is also a site and weapon of protest.
The conference explored the ways through which beliefs and their corresponding values are embodied and somatically contested in such cultural fields as religion, politics, ethics, and the arts. How are beliefs acted upon or counter-acted by bodies in these fields? How do artistic or literary representations reflect on such bodily actions or themselves participate in these actions? Selected papers will be developed for publication in The Journal of Somaesthetics
The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture hosted a 2-day conference, January 23–24, 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
This conference explored 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.
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.