Natalie Nenadic

  • Associate Professor
  • Philosophy
Research Interests:

Ph.D. Yale University; B.A. Stanford


My research centers on projects that illuminate contemporary ethical problems in the sense that it makes usually-hidden dimensions of the human condition more visible. I conduct this work through combining a deep, interdisciplinary, and practical understanding of them (a phenomenological approach) and creatively using the resources of philosophy’s past to aid in expressing these problems.

My first project centers on the increasingly technological-pornographic culture of our time and its relationship to harms, especially to women, from the most intimate areas of life to how we experience the public sphere. Despite pornography’s unprecedented visibility today, these harms remain largely invisible. I make new use of Heidegger’s philosophy (phenomenology and notions of freedom, modernity, Gestell) to analyze this problem philosophically as a manifestation of the ambivalence of modernity’s gendered freedom and technology. I am also interested in how this problem is mirrored, rather than critically confronted, in a thread of 20th c. continental (predominantly psychoanalytic) thought.

The second project found me as I embarked on the first. While beginning a two-year stint as a Research Scholar at the University of Michigan Law School to work with Catharine MacKinnon on her pioneering theoretical and legal work on pornography and other areas of sexual abuse, I was contacted by a colleague, Asja Armanda, from the war zone of what would become known as the Bosnian genocide. Through Armanda’s work with women survivors, she learned of the existence of a policy of mass rape, torture, and killings of women in and out of concentration camps. She sought my help to let the world know about these atrocities after unsuccessfully trying to enlist the aid of international human rights and women’s groups. I joined her efforts, and through years of complex, multifaceted work with survivors, we elicited the contours of this previously “unknown” crime that we named “genocidal rape” or “genocidal sexual atrocities.” I enlisted MacKinnon in our project as legal counsel for survivors and as a public voice that could help break through the massive denial surrounding these atrocities. We filed a lawsuit in New York (Kadic v. Karadzic) against a major perpetrator of the genocide. This case pioneered the crime’s recognition under international law, in a judicial venue we created in the U.S. for a crime that wasn't yet on the law books and before the existence of the International Criminal Tribunals. I document the philosophical practice that led to this conceptual breakthrough by Armanda and myself. I situate this original contribution to philosophical method and this new concept in relation to Hannah Arendt’s related analyses of the Nuremberg Trials and the Eichmann Trial (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil), which sought to adequately conceptualize what, before the Holocaust, was the “unknown” crime of genocide.

Over the last year, efforts to help a loved one facing terminal cancer thrust me into research at the intersections of philosophy, medicine, and politics. It questions the largely Cartesian approach to medical research and illness and analyzes parts of the pharmaceutical/cancer industry and clinical trials in terms Heidegger’s concept of Gestell and Arendt’s concept of the banality of evil.

I have been a recipient of an American Association of University Women (AAUW) Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, a Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship in Ethics, and was offered a Hannah Arendt Center Fellowship.

Selected Publications: 

"Catharine MacKinnon, Feminism, and Continental Philosophy: Comments on Toward a Feminist Theory of the State -- Twenty-Five Years Later," Symposium on Catharine A. MacKinnon's Toward a Feminist Theory of the State, Feminist Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 3 (2017), 2, Article 2 (

Also published in the American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy, Vol. 15, no.1 (fall 2015): 2-11 (

"Heidegger and the Ubiquity and Invisibility of Pornography in the Internet Age," Final Proceedings of the 2015 Meeting of the Heidegger Circle, March 2016, 191-214

"Heidegger, Feminism, and Pornography" in The Philosophy of Pornography: Contemporary Perspectives, eds. Lindsay Coleman and Jacob Held (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield), 105-125

Review of Scott M. Campbell, The Early Heidegger's Philosophy of Life: Facticity, Being, and Language, Fordham University Press, 2012, Gatherings: The Heidegger Circle Annual 4 (2014): 96-105. (

Review of Hans Maes and Jerrold Levinson (eds.), Art and Pornography: Philosophical Essays, Oxford University Press, 2012, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2014.01.18. (

"Heidegger, Arendt, and Eichmann in Jerusalem," Journal of Comparative and Continental Philosophy 5, no. 1 (2013)

"Genocide and Sexual Atrocities: Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem and Karadzic in New York," Philosophical Topics 39, no. 2 (2011): 117-144 (actually published 2013)

"Sexual Abuse, Modern Freedom, and Heidegger's Philosophy," Social Philosophy Today 27 (2011): 83-98

"Philosophy, International Law, and Genocide: The New York Case Against Karadzic," Brief: The Official Journal of the Law Society of Western Australia 38, no. 2 (2011): 20-23

"Pornography, Genocide, and the Law" (with Asja Armanda), in Big Porn Inc: Naming the Harms of the Global Pornography Industry, eds. Melinda Tankard Reist and Abigail Bray (Melbourne: Spinifex Press, 2011), 229-238

"Feminist Philosophical Intervention in Genocide," in Metacide in the Pursuit of Excellence, ed. James R. Watson (New York/Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010), 135-162


Selected Presentations

"Philosophy in Search of Itself: Reflections on Robert C. Scharff's How History Matters to Philosophy: Rethinking Philosophy's Past After Positivism," (Invited) Panel on Robert C. Scharff's How History Matters to Philosophy, Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, Memphis, October 19-21, 2017

"Modern Freedom, Technology, and Pornography: A Feminist and Heideggerian Analysis," 2017 Meeting of the Southwest Seminar in Continental Philosophy, California State University Northridge, June 8-10, 2017

"Philosophy, Genocide, and Sexual Atrocities," (Invited) NEH Challenge Grant Colloquium on "Gender, Mass Violence, and Genocide," Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives, Queensborough Community College, City University of New York, October 28, 2015

"Heidegger and the Ubiquity and Invisibility of Pornography in the Internet Age," Presented as part of a panel I organized "Gender, Justice, and Gestell: New Beginnings" at the Heidegger Circle Annual Meeting, Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, May 7-10, 2015

"Catharine MacKinnon, Feminism, and Continental Philosophy," Pacific Association for the Continental Tradition (PACT), Seattle University, September 24-26, 2015

First presented as an invited paper on a panel celebrating the 25th anniversary of the publication of Catharine MacKinnon's Toward a Feminist Theory of the State, American Philosophical Association (APA) Pacific Division Meeting, Vancouver, April 1-5, 2015

"Heidegger, Pornography, and Technology: Rethinking Freedom in the Age of the Internet," Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) -- Ireland, University College Dublin, November 21-22, 2014

"Pornography and the Ambivalence of Modernity: A Heideggerian Critique," Pacific Association for the Continental Tradition (PACT), Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, October 2-4, 2014

"Sexual Violence and Objectification: A Heideggerian Historical Analysis from Aristotle to Enlightenment Political Thought," American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago (Aug.-Sept. 2013); also presented as an invited lecture at Kennesaw State University, Georgia (November 2012)

"Pornography, Technology, and Closing off the Possibilities of Authentic Mitsein," Conference on "Discovering the 'We': The Phenomenology of Sociality," University College Dublin, Ireland (May 2013)

Organized and moderated "A Conversation with Karsten Harries" at The 47th Annual Meeting of the Heidegger Circle, New Haven, CT (May 2013)

"Sexual Abuse and Pornography: A Heideggerian Analysis," Annual Meeting of the Comparative and Continental Philosophy Circle, Fudan University, Shanghai, China (March 2013)

"The Imperative of 'Thinking' After Auschwitz: The Genealogy of the Concept of Genocidal Rape," Society for the Philosophical Study of Genocide and the Holocaust at the American Philosophical Association (APA) Central Division Meeting, New Orleans (February 2013)

"Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite: Wollstonecraft contra Rousseau contra Aristotle," Northeastern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Boston (November 2012)

"Hannah Arendt, the United Nations, and the Srebrenica (Bosnia) Genocide," International Political Science Association World Congress, Madrid, Spain (July 2012)

"Heidegger, Arendt, and Eichmann in Jerusalem," Comparative and Continental Philosophy Circle Annual Meeting, San Diego (March 2012)

"Hannah Arendt, Genocide, and Sexual Atrocities," Meeting of the Society for Philosophy in the Contemporary World at the American Philosophical Association (APA) Central Meeting, Chicago (February 2012)

"Hannah Arendt, Knowledge, and the Life-World," Conference on Responsibility, Formal Knowledge, and the Life-World by the Australasian Phenomenology and Hermeneutics Association, Perth, Australia (November 2011)

  • Heidegger, Philosophy, and Nazism (graduate seminar, Spring 2018)
  • Heidegger's Being and Time (graduate seminar)
  • Advanced Topics in Ethics: Arendt with Heidegger (graduate/upper division)
  • Philosophy of Law: Arendt and International Justice (graduate/upper division)
  • Philosophy of Law: Catharine MacKinnon (graduate/upper division)
  • Philosophy of Law: Sex Equality (graduate/upper division)
  • Modernity, Pornography, Sex Equality (graduate seminar, Heidegger-oriented)
  • Existentialism (graduate/upper division)
  • Social Theory Graduate Seminar: Justice (co-taught with faculty from Literature, Sociology, and Anthropology)
  • Hegel (upper division)
  • Epistemology and Ethics (upper division)
  • Introduction to Legal Philosophy
  • Ethics
  • Philosophy and Pornography
  • Introduction to Feminism and Philosophy
  • Introduction to Political Philosophy
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Architecture


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