Theoretical Study Department

A graduate of the École Normale Supérieure of the rue d’Ulm, Paris, and agregée in philosophy, Clélia Zernik defended a doctoral thesis in philosophy of art in 2009 at the Université Paris IV-Sorbonne, under the supervision of Jacqueline Lichtenstein. She also holds a degree from Sciences Po Paris.
In 2009-2010 she was awarded a grant from the Chancellerie des Universités for a year of postdoctoral research on the Japanese esthetic at Tokyo’s Waseda University.
Clélia Zernik has taught at the Université Paris IV-Sorbonne, the Université Parix X-Nanterre, the École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts, Nancy, the École Boulle, and the ENS Lyon. She was also selected for a four-year position as chargée de recherches documentaires at the Auditorium du Louvre.
Her research bears on the relationship between art and science as developed by psychologists of art such as Rudolf Arnheim and Ernst Gombrich and phenomenologists, first among them Maurice Merleau-Ponty.
Her articles, published in Critique, Philosophie, Rue Descartes and film journals such as Trafic and Positive, discuss relations between psychological description and phenomenological experience. In her brief essay, Perception-cinéma, published by Vrin in October 2010, she attempts to show how styles are different ways of deflecting our ordinary perception based on constraints related to film reception arrangements and how, by varying viewer’s distance from the film, the prism of possible styles becomes a correlative to the diaphragm that opens us up or closes us down to things. Her doctoral dissertation is being published by Vrin in 2012 under the title L’oeil et l’objectif: La psychologie de la perception à l’épreuve du style cinématographique, (“Essais d’art et de philosophie” series). She is also publishing an essay on Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, an anthology of texts on the philosophy of film (co-edited with Elise Domenach; Vrin, “Textes Clés” series).
Clélia Zernik’s current research focuses on contemporary Japanese esthetics and more hybrid subjects, such as design, architecture and the perceptive spaces.