Nineteenth-Century European Philosophy, Aesthetics, Feminism, Philosophy of Race, Environmental Philosophy


Katie Brennan specializes in nineteenth-century European philosophy, aesthetics, and feminism. Her research focuses on the relationship between art and life affirmation, especially in the work of Friedrich Nietzsche. Her current project analyzes life affirmation from a feminist perspective in order to demonstrate how social and political considerations make life affirmation more difficult for oppressed groups. She analyses these issues via the work of Hedwig Dohm (1833-1919), an early German feminist who advocates for universal suffrage and criticizes gender structures that keep women from coming to affirm their lives.

She received her B.A. from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, her M.A.L.A. from St. John’s College of Annapolis, her M.A. from SUNY Stony Brook, and her Ph.D. from Temple University.

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

  • “The Nihilism of the Oppressed: Hedwig Dohm’s Feminist Critique of Nietzschean Nihilism,” The Journal of Nietzsche Studies 52 (2021): 209–233. 
  • “The Wisdom of Silenus: Suffering in The Birth of Tragedy,” The Journal of Nietzsche Studies 49 (2018): 174–193.
  • “Nietzsche’s Hamlet Puzzle: Life Affirmation in The Birth of Tragedy,” The Routledge Companion to Shakespeare and Philosophy, ed. Craig Bourne and Emily Caddick Bourne, London: Routledge, 2019.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Feminist Philosophy
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Existentialism
  • Philosophy of the Human
  • Landscape of American Thought
  • Meaning of the Arts