Aili Bresnahan

Contact Information

Aili Bresnahan


  • Full-Time Faculty


Dr. Bresnahan specializes in Aesthetics, particularly in contemporary philosophy of art, including dance, theatre and performance. She began teaching at the University of Dayton in 2012. Prior to coming to the University of Dayton, she was a graduate student in Philosophy at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she taught philosophy and pre-law and was a research assistant for Dr. Joseph Margolis. Her dissertation was entitled, "Dance As Art: A Studio-Based Account."


  • Ph.D., Philosophy, Temple University
  • J.D., Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • B.A., Philosophy, Columbia University

Research Interests

  • Aesthetics
  • American Pragmatism
  • Philosophy of law and culture as it pertains to the arts

Selected Presentations

American Society for Aesthetics, National Meeting, St. Louis, MO (October, 2012): "Improvisational Artistry and Style in Live Dance Performance as Evidence of Embodied and Extended Mind."

Feminist Pragmatism in Place Colloquium, University of Dayton, OH (October, 2012): "'Ballet is for Girls and Girlie-Men:' A Pragmatist, Feminist Evaluation of Why Dance is an Undervalued Art."

American Society for Aesthetics, National Meeting, Tampa, FL (October, 2011): "When Studio Meets Audience in Artistic Dance Performance."

American Society for Aesthetics, National Meeting, Victoria, BC (October, 2010): "Rethinking the Role of Subjectivity in Dance: An Analysis of Susanne Langer’s 'Virtual Powers.'"

American Society for Aesthetics, National Meeting, Boulder, CO (October, 2009): "Toward a Deweyan Theory of Performing Arts Practice."

Forthcoming publications can be viewed on her website CV.