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Teresa Brennan papers

Biographical note

"Throughout her work, from her first book The Interpretation of the Flesh to her most recent, The Transmission of Affect, Teresa develops an original and revolutionary notion of energetics that she applies to some of the most pressing social issues of our time: relations between men and women, our relation to the environment and pollution, contemporary diseases, and globalization. Like her life, her work is not traditional or ordinary." Shannon Lundeen in Living Attention: On Teresa Brennan

Teresa Mary Isabel Brennan was born on January 4, 1952 in Melbourne, Australia. She went on to attend the University of Sydney for her Baccalaureate degree, writing her thesis in the field of political theory. Before continuing on for an advanced degree, Brennan served as a Congressional Advisor to Representative Barbara Mikulski, the then Chair of the Health sub-committee in the U.S. Congress. In 1986, Brennan went on to receive her Master’s of Arts in Political Science from the University of Melbourne. From 1986 to 1990, Brennan worked on and received her Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge King’s College in Social and Political Sciences under the supervision of L.A. Jardine.

Following the receipt of her PhD, Brennan went on to teach at a number of institutions including the University of Amsterdam, Cambridge University, the New School for Social Research, Brandeis University, Harvard University, and Florida Atlantic University. At Florida Atlantic University, Brennan helped to create and design the Public Intellectuals Program for the PhD in Comparative Studies as the Schmidt Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Sociology. The Public Intellectuals Program is unique in the United States and received attention from the New York Times and other large publications upon its founding.

Brennan authored and edited many books and articles throughout her career. Her authored books are: The Interpretation of the Flesh, History After Lacan, Exhausting Modernity, The Transmission of Affect, and Globalization and its Terrors. Brennan also edited numerous books including the Readings in Feminism series from the Oxford University Press, Between Feminism and Psychoanalysis, and Vision in Context. A number of Brennan’s authored and edited books were translated into multiple languages. Brennan’s articles, introductions and chapters were published in numerous books, journals, and conference proceedings.

Along with her pursuits in academia, Brennan was also involved as a consultant with groups such as the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the International Women’s Resource Agency, Inc..

Teresa Brennan died in February of 2003 after she was struck in a hit and run accident in December 2002. Following her death, many of Brennan’s close friends and colleagues contributed essays to be included in Living Attention: On Teresa Brennan. The book was published in 2007.