Cynthia Nielsen, Ph.D.

Cynthia R. Nielsen has taught philosophy, ethics, and religion at the college and university level since 2005. Prior to her appointment at UD, she was a Catherine of Sienna Teaching Fellow at Villanova University, where she taught courses in the Ethics Program, Honors College, and the Peace and Justice Program. Nielsen's research interests and publications are interdisciplinary and have an interstitial quality about them. Her current research focuses on bringing Gadamer's reflections on art into conversation with the insights and practices of 20th century music and art.

Areas of Expertise

Philosophical Hermeneutics (esp. Gadamer), Philosophy of Music, Aesthetics, Social Philosophy

Education

Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Dallas, 2011
M.A., Philosophy, University of Dallas, 2006
Graduate Studies in Humanities and Philosophy, University of Texas at Arlington, 2003–2004
Advanced Russian Studies, Moscow State University, 1997–1998
B. Music, Jazz Studies and Performance, University of North Florida, 1994

Academic Appointments

Catherine of Sienna Teaching Fellow, Villanova University, 2012–14

Recent Courses

PHI 1301 Philosophy and the Ethical Life
PHI 2323 Philosophy of the Human Person
PHI 3311 Philosophy of Being
PHI 3345 From Modern to Postmodern
PHI 3346 Contemporary Philosophical Approaches
PHI 4341 Senior Seminar: Philosophy of Music
PHI 4342 Senior Thesis
PHI 6341 TS/Hermeneutical Traditions: Heidegger and Gadamer (Spring 2018)

Selected Publications

Books

Interstitial Soundings. Philosophical Reflections on Improvisation, Practice, and Self-Making  Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2015.

Foucault, Douglass, Fanon, and Scotus in Dialogue: On Social Construction and Freedom  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Book Chapters

“Rehumanizing the Inmate: Wacquant on Race-making, Sequestered Spaces, and the Quest for a We Narrative,” in Philosophy Imprisoned. The Love of Wisdom in the Age of Mass Incarceration, edited by Sarah Tyson and Joshua M. Hall, pp. 255-272 (New York: Lexington/Rowman & Littlefield, Aug. 2014).

"Strategic Afro-Modernism, Dynamic Hybridity, and Bebop's Socio-Political Significance," in Music and Law. Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance, vol. 18, edited by Mathieu Deflem, pp. 129-148. (Bingley UK: Emerald Group Publishing, 2013).  

Articles

“Gadamer and Scholz on Solidarity: Disclosing, Avowing, and Performing Solidaristic Ties with Human and Natural Others.” Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 48 (2017): 1–16.

“Harsh Poetry and Art’s Address: Romare Bearden and Hans-Georg Gadamer in Conversation.” The Polish Journal of Aesthetics 43 (April 2016): 103–123.

Gadamer on the Event of Art, the Other, and a GestureToward a Gadamerian Approach to Free Jazz,” Journal of Applied Hermeneutics, March 2016, ISSN 1927-4416.   

"Inmates, Education, and the Public Good: Deploying Catholic Social Thought to Deconstruct the Us-Versus-Them Dichotomy." Co-authored with Dr. Peter S. Dillard. Heythrop Journal 56 (2015): 769-777. [Research for this project supported in part by a Veritas Grant from Villanova University.]  

“Foucault’s Polyphonic Genealogies and Rethinking Episteme Change via Musical Metaphors,” Radical Orthodoxy: Theology, Philosophy, Politics 2.1 (Jan. 2014): 1–50.

“Unearthing Consonances in Foucault’s Account of Greco-Roman Self-Writing and Christian Technologies of the Self,” Heythrop Journal 55:2 (Jan. 2014): 188–202.

“Hearing the Other’s Voice: How Gadamer’s Fusion of Horizons and Open-ended Understanding Respects the Other and Puts Oneself in Question,” Otherness: Essays and Studies 4.1 Philosophy and the Other, Sept. 2013, http://www.otherness.dk/journal/otherness-essays-studies-41/.

“Frantz Fanon and the Negritude Movement: How Strategic Essentialism Subverts Manichean Binaries,” Callaloo: Journal of African Diaspora 36 (2013): 342–51.

“Resistance Through Re-Narration: Fanon on De-constructing Racialized Subjectivities,”African Identities: Journal of Economics, Culture, and Society 9:4 (Dec. 2011): 363–85. 

“Resistance is Not Futile: Frederick Douglass on Panoptic Plantations and the Un-Making of Docile Bodies and Enslaved Souls,” Philosophy and Literature 35.2 (2011): 251–68. 

“What Has Coltrane to Do With Mozart:  The Dynamism and Built-in Flexibility of Music,” Expositions 3 (2009): 57–71.

“St. Augustine on Text and Reality (and a Little Gadamarian Spice),”Heythrop Journal 50 (2009): 98–108.

Contributions to Reference Works

"Racism,” New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement 2012-13: Ethics and Philosophy. Eds. Robert Fastiggi and Joseph Koterski, S. J. 4 vols. Detroit: Gale, 2013, 4: 1297-99.

“Philosophy of Music,” New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement 2012-13: Ethics and Philosophy. Eds. Robert Fastiggi and Joseph Koterski, S. J. 4 vols. Detroit: Gale, 2013, 3: 1031-36.