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Cynthia R. Nielsen
University of Dallas
  1. Resistance Through Re-Narration: Fanon on De-Constructing Racialized Subjectivities.Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2011 - African Identies 9 (4):363-385.
    Frantz Fanon offers a lucid account of his entrance into the white world where the weightiness of the ‘white gaze’ nearly crushed him. In chapter five of Black Skins, White Masks, he develops his historico-racial and epidermal racial schemata as correctives to Merleau-Ponty’s overly inclusive corporeal schema. Experientially aware of the reality of socially constructed (racialized) subjectivities, Fanon uses his schemata to explain the creation, maintenance, and eventual rigidification of white-scripted ‘blackness’. Through a re-telling of his own experiences of racism, (...)
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  2. Unearthing Consonances in Foucault's Account of Greco‐Roman Self‐Writing and Christian Technologies of the Self.Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2014 - Heythrop Journal 55 (2):188-202.
    Foucault’s later writings continue his analyses of subject-formation but now with a view to foregrounding an active subject capable of self-transformation via ascetical and other self-imposed disciplinary practices. In my essay, I engage Foucault’s studies of ancient Greco-Roman and Christian technologies of the self with a two-fold purpose in view. First, I bring to the fore additional continuities either downplayed or overlooked by Foucault’s analysis between Greco-Roman transformative practices including self-writing, correspondence, and the hupomnemata and Christian ascetical and epistolary practices. (...)
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  3. Gadamer on the Event of Art, the Other, and a Gesture Toward a Gadamerian Approach to Free Jazz".Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2016 - Journal of Applied Hermeneutics:online.
    Several prominent contemporary philosophers, including Jürgen Habermas, John Caputo, and Robert Bernasconi, have at times painted a somewhat negative picture of Gadamer as not only an uncritical traditionalist, but also as one whose philosophical project fails to appreciate difference. Against such claims, I argue that Gadamer’s reflections on art exhibit a genuine appreciation for alterity not unrelated to his hermeneutical approach to the other. Thus, by bringing Gadamer’s reflections on our experience of art into conversation with key aspects of his (...)
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  4. Resistance is Not Futile: Frederick Douglass on Panoptic Plantations and the Un-Making of Docile Bodies and Enslaved Souls.Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2011 - Philosophy and Literature 35 (2):251-268.
    Frederick Douglass, in his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, describes how his sociopolitical identity was scripted by the white other and how his spatiotemporal existence was likewise constrained through constant surveillance and disciplinary dispositifs. Even so, Douglass was able to assert his humanity through creative acts of resistance. In this essay, I highlight the ways in which Douglass refused to accept the other-imposed narrative, demonstrating with his life the truth of his being—a human being unwilling to (...)
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  5.  4
    Harsh Poetry and Art's Address: Romare Bearden and Hans-Georg Gadamer in Conversation.Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2016 - Polish Journal of Aesthetics 43:103–123.
    In this essay, I analyze Romare Bearden’s art, methodology, and thinking about art, as well as his attempt to harmonize his personal aesthetic goals with his sociopolitical concerns. I then turn to Hans-Georg Gadamer’s reflections on art and our experience (Erfahrung) of art. I show how Bearden’s approach to art and the artworks themselves resonate with Gadamer’s critique of aesthetic consciousness and his contention that artworks address us, make claims upon us, and even reveal truth. Lastly, I discuss Gadamer’s emphasis (...)
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  6.  7
    Strategic Afro-Modernism, Dynamic Hybridity, and Bebop's Socio-Political Significance.Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2013 - In Mathieu Deflem (ed.), Music and Law: Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance, Volume 18. Bingley, UK: Emerald Books. pp. 129-148.
    In this chapter, I argue that one can articulate a historically attuned and analytically rich model for understanding jazz in its various inflections. That is, on the one hand, such a model permits us to affirm jazz as a historically conditioned, dynamic hybridity. On the other hand, to acknowledge jazz’s open and multiple character in no way negates our ability to identify discernible features of various styles and aesthetic traditions. Additionally, my model affirms the sociopolitical, legal (Jim Crow and copyright (...)
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  7. St. Augustine on Text and Reality (and a Little Gadamerian Spice).Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2009 - Heythrop Journal 50 (1):98-108.
    One way of viewing the organizing structure of the Confessions is to see it as an engagement with various texts at different phases of St. Augustine’s life. In the early books of the Confessions, Augustine describes the disordered state that made him unable to read any text (sacred or profane) properly. Yet following his conversion his entire orientation— not only to texts but also to reality as a whole—changes. This essay attempts to trace the winding paths that lead up to (...)
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  8.  5
    The Political Thought of Frederick Douglass: In Pursuit of American Liberty. [REVIEW]Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2013 - Review of Politics 75:279–281.
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  9. “What Has Coltrane to Do With Mozart: The Dynamism and Built-in Flexibility of Music”.Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2009 - Expositions 3:57-71.
    Although contemporary Western culture and criticism has usually valued composition over improvisation and placed the authority of a musical work with the written text rather than the performer, this essay posits these divisions as too facile to articulate the complex dynamics of making music in any genre or form. Rather it insists that music should be understood as pieces that are created with specific intentions by composers but which possess possibilities of interpretation that can only be brought out through performance.
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  10.  4
    Philosophy of Music (Encyclopedia Entry).Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2013 - In Robert L. Fastiggi, Joseph W. Koterski, Trevor Lipscombe, Victor Salas & Brendan Sweetman (eds.), New Catholic Encyclopedia: Supplement 2012-2013: Ethics and Philosophy. Detroit, MI, USA: Gale. pp. 1031–1036.
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  11.  22
    Gadamer and Scholz on Solidarity: Disclosing, Avowing, and Performing Solidaristic Ties with Human and Natural Others.Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2017 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 48 (3):240-256.
    This essay is concerned with Gadamer’s reflections on solidarity and practice as found in several of his later writings. While Gadamer offers a robust explanation of practice, practical reason, and how both are operative in solidarities, his investigations of solidarity are in no way systematic. He does, however, distinguish two aspects of solidarity, viz. what one might call “natural solidarity” and “avowed solidarity”. In contrast to natural solidarities, avowed solidarities require an intentional decision and commitment to act with others for (...)
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  12.  3
    Racism (Encyclopedia Entry).Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2013 - In Robert L. Fastiggi, Joseph W. Koterski, Trevor Lipscombe, Victor Salas & Brendan Sweetman (eds.), New Catholic Encyclopedia: Supplement 2012-2013: Ethics and Philosophy. Detroit, MI, USA: Gale. pp. 1297–1299.
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  13.  95
    Foucault, Douglass, Fanon, and Scotus in Dialogue: On Social Construction and Freedom.Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2013 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Through examining Douglass's and Fanon's concrete experiences of oppression, Cynthia R. Nielsen demonstrates the empirical validity of Foucault's theoretical analyses concerning power, resistance, and subject-formation. Going beyond merely confirming Foucault's insights, Douglass and Fanon expand, strengthen, and offer correctives to the emancipatory dimensions of Foucault's project. Unlike Foucault, Douglass and Fanon were not hesitant to make transhistorical judgments condemning slavery and colonization. Foucault's reticence here signals a weakness in his account of human being. This weakness sets him at cross-purposes not (...)
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  14.  6
    Interstitial Soundings: Philosophical Reflections on Improvisation, Practice, and Self-Making.Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2015
    In Interstitial Soundings, Cynthia R. Nielsen brings music and philosophy into a fruitful and mutually illuminating dialogue. Topics discussed include the following: music's dynamic ontology, performers and improvisers as co-composers, the communal character of music, jazz as hybrid and socially constructed, the sociopolitical import of bebop, Afro-modernism and its strategic deployments, jazz and racialized practices, continuities between Michel Foucault's discussion of self-making and creating one's musical voice, Alasdair MacIntyre on practice, and how one might harmonize MacIntyre's notion of virtue development (...)
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