Cynthia Nielsen Ph.D.

Cynthia Nielsen, Ph.D.

Professor, Philosophy

Phone: (972) 265-5710


Office: Braniff #326

Cynthia R. Nielsen has taught philosophy at the 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 focuses on hermeneutical philosophy, especially the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer. Her interest in hermeneutics applies to a broad range of topics, including aesthetics, ethnomusicology, social and political philosophy, Ukrainian Studies, cultural and political resistance in conflict situations, and postcolonial studies. Her most recent monograph is Gadamer’s Hermeneutical Aesthetics: On Art as a Performative, Dynamic, Communal, Event (Routledge, Oct. 2022), which brings Gadamer’s hermeneutical aesthetics into conversation with the montages and collages African American artist Romare Bearden, Banksy’s street art, and avant-garde expressions of jazz.

Philosophical Hermeneutics (esp. Hans-Georg Gadamer),  Aesthetics, Social & Political Philosophy, Philosophies of Resistance

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

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

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 3351 Junior Seminar: Gadamer
PHI 4341 Senior Seminar: Philosophy of Music
PHI 4342 Senior Thesis
PHI 6341 TS/Hermeneutical Traditions: Heidegger and Gadamer
PHI 5332 Philosophy of Technology
PHI 7377 Hermeneutics and Language
PHI 7381 20th Century German Philosophers of Art (Directed Reading)
PHI 7381 Gadamer, Hermeneutics, and Intellectual Disability (Directed Reading)
PHI 7381 Gadamer’s Hermeneutical Aesthetics (Directed Reading)
PHI 3332/5301 Aesthetics (spring 2020)
PHI 7381 Kierkegaard (Directed Reading)
IPS 8352 Hegel, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky
PHI 4339 Information Ethics
PHI 7381 Critical Theory and Hermeneutics (Directed Reading)

Philosophical Hermeneutics (esp. H-G Gadamer)
Social & Political Philosophy
Ukrainian Studies
Eastern European Dissident Thinkers
Cultural and Political Resistance in Conflict Situations

Gadamer’s Truth and Method: A Polyphonic Commentary, co-edited with Greg Lynch. New York/London: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2022.

Gadamer’s Hermeneutical Aesthetics: On Art as a Performative, Dynamic, Communal Event. New York: Routledge Press (Routledge Research in Aesthetics Series, Oct. 2022).

Book Chapters
“Gadamer and the Plastic Arts” in Gadamer’s Truth and Method: A Polyphonic Commentary, co-edited with Greg Lynch. New York/London: Rowman & Littlefield International 2022.

“Gadamer on Play and the Play of Art,” in The Gadamerian Mind, edited by Theodore George and Gert-Jan van der Heiden. New York: Routledge, 2021.

“Fricker, Gadamer, and Honneth: Testimonial Injustice, Prejudice, and (Mis)recognition” (co-authored with David Utsler) in Recognition Theory and Epistemic Injustice, edited by Paul Giladi and Nicola McMillan. New York: Routledge, 2022.

Articles & Translations
“Gadamer on Death’s Unintelligibility and the Overflow of Life.” Analecta Hermeneutica 14 (2022): 1–14.

“Gadamer’s Complex Engagement with Kantian Aesthetics.” International Yearbook for Hermeneutics, forthcoming 2022.

Hans-Georg Gadamer, Music and Time, co-translated with David Liakos. Epoch 26:1(Fall 2021):471478. DOI: 10.5840/epoche2021813196.

Hans-Georg Gadamer, "Tasks of Philosophy in the Present Age: RIAS-Lecture, June9, 1952, co-translated with Ian Alexander Moore. Philosophy Today 64(2) (Spring 2020). DOI: 10.5840/philtoday202055339.

Nielsen, Cynthia and David Utsler, “(Environmental) Hermeneutics at the Heart of the Anthropocene: Ricoeurian and Gadamerian Perspectives.” Analecta Hermeneutic 13 (2021): 52–72.

“Hermeneutics of (Im)politeness: A Gadamerian Perspective,” Forthcoming, Ruch Filozoficzny, Polish Journal of Philosophy, 2020.

“On Poietic Remembering and Forgetting: Hermeneutic Recollection, ‘Immortality,’ and Diotima’s Historico-Hermeneutic Leanings.” Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 22 (2018): 107–134.

“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 Gesture Toward a Gadamerian Approach to Free Jazz,” Journal of Applied Hermeneutics, March 2016, ISSN 1927-4416.