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MEDIA CONTACT:   Polly Burks

FAU Professor Receives Award from French Government

BOCA RATON, FL (May 19, 2009) – Dr. Richard Shusterman, Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in the Humanities in Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, recently received t he Ordre des Palmes Académiques ( Order of Academic Palms) from the French Government. The order is granted to academics and educators to recognize distinguished service to humanity. It was originally created by Napoleon Bonaparte to honor faculty at the University of Paris. In 1866, the scope of the award was widened to recognize contributions to French national education made by anyone, including foreigners. The order is now one of the world's oldest civil awards.

Shusterman has an international reputation for his work in philosophy and aesthetics, and for his pioneering work in somaesthetics, a field of theory and practice devoted to thinking through the body. In addition to his research in somatic philosophy, he works as a certified practitioner in the Feldenkrais Method ® of somatic education.

In his current position at FAU, Shusterman directs the Center for Body, Mind and Culture. The center is an interdisciplinary initiative dedicated to promoting research, programming and the education of topics 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).

In 2007, 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, hosted a bilingual conference titled, “French Philosophy and Contemporary Art.”   The conference included 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.

Shusterman received his B.A. and M.A. in philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his doctorate in philosophy from St. John’s College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom. He served as professor and chair of Temple University’s philosophy department from 1998-2004. His international academic career includes appointments as visiting professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, the Sorbonne, and the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris; at the Freie Universität Berlin, and at the Universities of Oslo and Hiroshima University.

For more information about FAU’s Center for Body, Mind and Culture, contact 561-297-0851 or visit  


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