Michelle Brewer

Michelle Brewer
Germanic & Slavic Studies
Office: CLE D259B

MA, PhD candidate

Area of expertise

Feminist Theory, Critical Theory, First Generation Frankfurt School, Dialectic of Enlightenment, Theories of Embodiment, Continental Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, History of Philosophy, Antisemitism and Holocaust Studies

Michelle Brewer is completing a doctorate in UVic's Interdisciplinary Studies program in Germanic Studies, philosophy and sociology. She is writing a feminist critique of Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno's book Dialectic of Enlightenment, the foundational text of Critical Theory and the First Generation Frankfurt School. Where its authors conceptualize a dominating relationship of mind over nature and then link nature to the Jews to offer an explanation of Nazi antisemitism, Michelle employs their theory of the domination of nature to explain women's oppression and the Western stance toward the environment. Michelle has a BA in philosophy from the University of Alberta, an MA in philosophy and gender studies from Trinity College Dublin and started her doctoral studies in philosophy in Berlin. She has received both SSHRC and DAAD doctoral fellowships.

Michelle is also a feminist activist. She founded and co-organized the Women's March on Washington in Edmonton and then founded the national non-profit Women's March Canada where she was Executive Director for one year and a Board Member for one year. She is the creator of the Edmonton International Women's Film Festival, an arena that uses film and discussion on particular themes to start conversations to advance the situation of women and girls. The annual multi-night program always dedicates an evening to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, something she is dedicated to as a Métis woman. And she is passionate about women's relationship to food, eating and our bodies: how it holds us back from empowerment we have fought for in the women's movement and how it can be a portal to liberation. To this end, she regularly hosts mindful meals to give people an experience of conscious and healthy eating and has a counselling practice to allow people to explore issues that arise in the process.