The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture is an interdisciplinary initiative dedicated to promoting research, programming, and teaching of topics concerning the body-mind-culture nexus. The Center’s motivating logic affirms that the three terms constituting its name are essentially interdependent rather than separate entities and that they therefore need to be studied in terms of their interrelations and through interdisciplinary research.
Nested in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the Center 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. Treating the complexity of topics relating to the body-mind-culture connection, however, requires reaching beyond the disciplines of the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts to embrace also the natural and health sciences. The Center is thus committed to forging strong links to these scientific disciplines through collaboration with other Colleges at FAU and with institutions beyond the FAU community.
To advance and coordinate research, teaching, and curricular development with respect to body, mind, and culture, the Center organizes lectures, workshops, and conferences. It also will encourage publications and other projects relating to its focus. Through collaborative networks with other Colleges at FAU and with other institutions, organizations, and researchers concerned with the Center’s field of interests, 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 essentially 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, sensorimotor learning and therapies, performance arts, martial arts, spirituality and meditation, and other body-mind disciplines (Western and non-Western). The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture is the initiative of the Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in the Humanities, Richard Shusterman, who is also its director. The associate director of the Center is John Golden, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English.