International Conference on Body Image and Identity in Contemporary Society

April 8-9, 2011

At the CUNY Graduate Center

Jointly organized by:

  • The Office of the University Dean for Health and Human Services, CUNYand the Pandora research group of the Centre de Recherches Psychanalyse, Médecine et Société, Université Paris-Diderot, France


  • Co-sponsored by the World Psychiatric Association (The Section on Art and Psychiatry and the Section on Literature and Psychiatry)
  • Co-sponsored by The Women's Studies Certificate Program and the Center for the Study of Women and Society at the CUNY Graduate Center
  • Congress Presidents: Dr. William Ebenstein (CUNY) and Dr. Céline Masson (Université de Paris-Diderot, France)
  • Chair of the Supervisory Committee: Dr. Ekaterina Sukhanova (CUNY)


Keynote Speakers

  • Hans-OttoThomashoff, M.D., Ph.D., World Psychiatric Association, "How the Brain Creates Art and Dreams"


  • Victoria Pitts-Taylor, Ph.D. Director of the Women's Studies Certificate Program and Professsor of Sociology,
    CUNY Graduate Center, "Fleshing the Body in Social Theory"



The Conference Program


Through a variety of disciplinary lenses, the conference will explore the interconnections between body image and identity. Presentations will address some of the following overarching themes:

  • How does body image affect the construction of human experience and identity? What human experiences, behaviors and clinical practices influence this process?
  • What role do the social constructs of the norm, pathology and disability play in the understanding of identity in modern society?
  • How does the “imaginary,” metaphorical body as the object of art correlate with the actual physical body as the object of medical science?
  • How can art be effectively utilized in disorders involving body image disturbance?

The above questions represent broad lines of inquiry rather than specific paper topics. Participants from all relevant academic disciplines are invited to submit proposals for either individual papers or entire panels (minimum of 3 and maximum of 4 participants per panel).

Intercultural approaches are strongly encouraged.

The working language of the conference will be English. Selected sessions may be conducted in French with simultaneous translation.

For further information call: 212-794-5699 or e-mail Wanda Anderson at


Paper Submission

Proposal submission is now closed.

Poster Submission

Proposals for Poster Sessions is now closed.


Hotel Information <pdf>

Friday Evening Reception

Directions to the CUNY Graduate Center


The Conference Program