International Research Network (GDRI) “Forms of Life”

The GDRI “Forms of Life,” funded by the CNRS and supported by the Centre Marc Bloch for the 2016-2020 period, brings together Humboldt-Universität, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, CUNY in New York, the Doshisha University in Kyoto, La Sapienza in Rome, the ISJP, and the CURAPP-ESS. Estelle Ferrarese is coordinating the project.

Confronted with the spectacular emergence of the concepts of life forms in sociology, ethics, politics, anthropology, and as SHS’s pivotal point of contact with the life sciences, this network aims to constitute and to organize a coherent field of research across disciplines and intellectual traditions.

Whether in critical theory, in the philosophy of ordinary language derived from Wittgenstein and Cavell, in Foucault’s inspired bio-political thinking, or in certain currents of the anthropology of life, the concept of “forms of life” enables us to think of new forms of criticism of that which is taken as a given. Because it invites us to re-examine the expression of the “social” and of the “vital” on which the institutions of the human world are based, it calls for a major renewal of the operational categories in the human sciences.

Our thinking focuses more particularly on that which could be an ethics of life forms, considered through the prism of human vulnerability, and on the politics that the forms of life suggest.

Seminars and Study Days

  • 14 March 2016, “The Meaning of Care in Different Traditions,” Doshisha University Kyoto
  • 5 April 2016, “Contemplating Vulnerable Forms of Life,” City University New York
  • 21 July 2016, “Forms of Life and Second Nature,” Humboldt-Universität Berlin
  • 15 and 16 September 2016, “The Form Capitalism Gives to our Lives", Centre Marc Bloch Berlin
  • 7 and 8 March 2017, “Forms of Vulnerability, Bodies and the Self,” Doshisha University Kyoto
  • 8 and 9 June 2017, Workshop “Intersex. Beyond the Binaries,” EPIDAPO Los Angeles
  • 26 and 27 June 2017, International Conference. “Martha Nussbaum. From the Fragility of the Good to Poetic Justice,” Paris I
  • 14 and 15 September 2017, “Alternative Traditions in Contemporary Ethics,” La Sapienza Rome
  • 26 and 27 November 2017, “The Avoidance and Appearance of the Child,” Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
  • 19 and 20 January 2018, Workshop "Rules, Forms of Life and the Law", Université de Paris I-Panthéon Sorbonne
  • 9 and 10 February 2018, Workshop “Media Immersion and Forms of Life,” UCLA, Los Angeles
  • 14 February 2018, Workshop “Precarious Work,” CUNY, New York
  • 24 April 2018, Study Day, “Democracy and Forms of Life,” Centre Marc Bloch à Berlin (in conjunction with GDRI POLINOR)
  • 20 and 21 September 2018, Workshop “Urban Forms, Urban Lives,” Centre Marc Bloch
  • 5 and 6 December 2018, International Conference “ Theodor W. Adorno. Ethics and Politics of Forms of Life,” Université de Picardie-Jules Verne, Amiens