Dr Barbara Formis (PhD in Philosophy, University Paris 1) is Senior Lecturer in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art in the Department of Fine Arts of the University Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne.
She works in the interdisciplinary field between philosophy and performance. Mainly influenced by pragmatism, her research explores the possibilities of a philosophy of the body with a particular focus on live art (performance, dance, theatre, happenings, events) and its relationship to social phenomena and life-practices.
Director of the research teams ESPAS at the Institute ACTE. On a one year research assignment at the French National Center for Research (CNRS) on a project called "Pragmatism, Art & Feminism".
She is the founder and co-director with Dr. Mélanie Perrier (University Lecturer and choreographer) of the Laboratoire du Geste (Gesture Laboratory), a research collective working in the area of performance art. The Laboratory organizes workshops, festivals and symposia via various international collaborations such as with the University of California Berkeley A.R.C. (Arts Research Center, dir. Prof Shannon Jackson).
The laboratory’s website receives an average of 9 000 visits per month.
She is founder member of Pragmata, society of pragmatist studies, which reunites the Ecole Normale Supérieure d’Ulm and Lyon, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, the C.N.R.S. (National Center of Scientif Research) and the University Paris 1, Sorbonne.
At the Fine Arts Department of the Sorbonne University she is an elected member of the Council and of the Special Scientific Commission. She directs the 2nd year program in the Philosophy of Art and regularly co-supervises Masters theses.
She has organized numerous symposia on pragmatism, performance studies and aesthetics, receiving different grants from the Scientific Council of the Sorbonne University, the Doctoral Research Programm, and from the town hall of Paris research project. She has a long experience of collaborations, national and international: University of California Berkeley (U.S.A.) Ecole Normale Supérieure (E.N.S. d’Ulm, Paris), University Paris 7, Diderot, University of Picardie Jules Verne (Amiens), University of Franche-Comte (Besançon), and the H.E.A.D. (High School of Arts and Design, of Geneva, Switzerland).
She also organized an exhibition called Aesthetic Transactions during May 2013 at the Michel Journiac Galery in Paris. The exhibition was inspired by the relationship between art and philosophy and was curated by Pr. Richard Shusterman (Florida Atlantic University, dir. Body Mind and Culture Center) with whom she has collaborated on various projects over the years (symposia and anthologies).
She is also member of the P.S.I, Performance Studies International, the French Society of Aesthetics, the French Society of Dance Research and the American Society of Aesthetics.She is regularly invited to direct or participate in jury panels for degrees in Fine Arts Schools in France (i.e. Lyon, Annecy) and in Switzerland (H.E.A.D., High School of Arts and Design, of Geneva). She has also participated in committees at the behest of the Ministry of Culture. Trained as a professional dancer, she now regularly works as a dramaturge (i.e. with Richard Siegal and Colette Sadler). She was director of a seminar at the Collège International de Philosophie of Paris (International College of Philosophy, 2006-2008) and researcher in the Theory Department of the Jan Van Eyck Academie of Maastricht.
Her current research explores the aesthetic experience of eating and cooking as performance artworks as well as crucial philosophical questions from Socrates onwards. Her next books are called: Du cannibalisme au café gourmand (Eating. From cannibalism to café gourmand) to be published by Flammarion in 2015 (forthcoming).