The Florida Atlantic University Center for Body, Mind and Culture within the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters is an interdisciplinary initiative dedicated to promoting the research, programming and teaching of subjects concerning the body-mind-culture link. Researchers at the center recently joined forces with the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland to launch a new “Center for Somaesthetics and the Arts”, dedicated to joint academic research and creative programs. The Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow is the oldest art school in Poland, dating back to 1818.
Somaesthetics is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry aimed at promoting and integrating theoretical, empirical and practical disciplines related to body perception, performance and presentation and is the focal point of this new partnership and center.
The Center for Somaesthetics and the Arts will be committed to promoting research and creative works of art that focus on a wide range of issues related to embodiment in the arts: from issues of aesthetic perception and experience to issues. social and ethical whose treatment can find support through the awareness and insights that art can provide. Due to the location of the center in Krakow, close to the Auschwitz concentration camp, a line of research will focus on the somatic roots of systemic racism and ethnic discrimination. These issues that created the horrors of the Holocaust still find troubling expression today, directed at a variety of minority populations.
“We are delighted to be working in collaboration with our colleagues at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow to enable us to forge strong links to promote academic and creative research that connects the humanities and the broad spectrum of the sciences to the fine arts. -arts, ”said Richard Shusterman, Ph.D., Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in the Humanities and Director of the FAU Center for Body, Mind, and Culture at the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, which has moderated the conference on “The Body and Public Space”, which opened the new center in Krakow. “The emphasis on somaesthetics at our new partner center in Poland will allow us to cultivate somatic practices that sharpen our perceptions of the world around us in order to provide a more caring sensitivity to our environment, social and natural. The communicative power of the arts and heightened somatic awareness can provide significant support for the development of greater sensitivity to issues of social and climate justice.
The FAU Center for Body, Mind and Culture organizes lectures, workshops and lectures and recently hosted a virtual international conference called “Bodies of Power: Somaesthetics and Politics”. This conference examined the complex relationships between human bodies and the political institutions that govern them. The conference included presentations from international academics based in Korea, India, Poland, Spain and Italy, as well as academics from the United States. Martin Jay, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of European History Ehrman, University of California, Berkeley, delivered the keynote address. It was the 17the international conference organized by the FAU Center for Body, Mind and Culture since its founding in 2007.
“Political regimes maintain their power and domination by controlling our bodies. They do this not only through explicit acts of violence and internment, but also more insidiously by instilling somatic norms and habits that support dominant political authorities and ideologies, ”Shusterman said. “Our last lecture helped shed light on the ways in which we as individuals and groups can find paths of emancipation through more creative and progressive somaesthetic thinking and action. The issues of systemic racism and ethnic discrimination, which are at the heart of the quest for social justice, clearly relate to the way bodies appear and are judged in the public space, but very little attention is paid to the analysis. the aesthetics of these questions.
Shusterman recently presented a talk on his new book, “Ars Erotica,” which offers a critical and comparative analysis of erotic theories proposed by the most influential premodern cultural traditions that have shaped the contemporary world. Beginning with ancient Greece, from which the god of desiring love gave his name to eroticism, Shusterman examines the Judeo-Christian biblical tradition and classic erotic theories of Chinese, Indian, Islamic and Japanese cultures, before concluding with medieval and Renaissance Europe. His exploration of their mistakes and ideas shows how individuals could improve the quality of life and love today.
“By using the eros engine to cultivate qualities of sensitivity, grace, skill and self-control, we can reinvent a richer and more positive view of sex education,” Shusterman explained.
The Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letter’s Center for Body, Mind, and Culture deploys the college’s broad disciplinary perspectives on body, mind, and culture – ranging from philosophy and history to social, communicational and literary studies, to the performing arts and the plastic arts. To advance and coordinate research, teaching and curriculum development with regard to body, mind and culture, the center organizes conferences, workshops and lectures. It also encourages publications and other projects related to its orientation. Through collaborative networks with other FAU colleges and with other institutions, organizations and researchers concerned with the area of interest of the center, the center is engaged not only in academic research and teaching, but also pursues a public awareness mission in the service of various populations of the South. Region of Florida who have a strong interest in subjects primarily related to the body-mind-culture link. These topics include health and illness, fitness and disability, body image in art and culture, sexuality and gender, body politics, fashion, cosmetics, athletics, nutrition. , learning and sensorimotor therapies, performance and martial arts, spirituality and meditation, and other body-mind disciplines (Western and non-Western).