In Loving Memory of Teresa Brennan


Feminist, philosopher, psychoanalytic theorist, and co-founder of the Comparative Studies PhD program

Transmission of Affect
    Exhausting Modernity     History After Lacan     Interpretation of the Flesh     The Way Out

Teresa Brennan (1952-2003) was a feminist philosopher and psychoanalytic theorist best known for her work on what she called "the transmission of affect" and the physical, "energetic" dimensions of the social—for instance, in gender relations, the history and lasting effects of colonialism, globalization and the capitalist appropriation of natural resources. Born in Australia, Brennan did not enter the academic world until her thirties, before which she pursued vocations as a writer and an activist, involved in local politics and community organizing. From the mid-1980s through the early 1990s, Brennan taught at the University of Cambridge—where she received her doctorate in 1990—and other European universities until 1994, when she relocated to New York to serve on the faculty of the New School for Social Research. She came to Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in 1997 as Schmidt Distinguished Professor of Humanities.

At FAU, Teresa Brennan founded an interdisciplinary PhD for Public Intellectuals in the late 1990s. Visiting scholars for the program included prominent philosophers and social theorists Linda Martín Alcoff, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Susan Buck-Morss, and Gloria Anzaldúa, among others. Subjects of study included public policy, media and popular culture, gender, postcolonial theory, race and ethnic conflict, environmental and biomedical ethics, labor and new social movements. The vision was to cultivate engaged scholarship and to develop a program not only for future academics but for those shaping of public space more broadly: for journalists, museum curators and librarians, activists and advocates.

Publications include:

The Transmission of Affect (2004)

Globalization and Its Terrors  (2002)

Exhausting Modernity  (2000)

Vision in Context  (1996)

History After Lacan (1993)

The Interpretation of the Flesh: Freud and Femininity  (1992)