Nancy Jean Holland
Nancy J. Holland died January 25, 2020, age 72, from complications of non-smokers' lung cancer. She was able to write, read, and listen to music until disease and treatment effects took those capacities away. Her only regret is having to leave her beloved husband, family, and friends.
A California native, she earned a B.A. with great distinction from Stanford University and her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. She joined the faculty at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1981 and taught philosophy there for 36 years. Among other roles at Hamline she served as Chair of the Philosophy Department, Hanna Chair of Philosophy, Director of Women's Studies, and President of the Faculty Council. She won the Grimes Outstanding Teacher Award in 2000 and twice won the Conger Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Work in the Humanities. Beyond Hamline, she served as a Peer Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission of the North-Central Accreditation Association and in various roles in the American Philosophical Association and the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy.
She is the author of four scholarly books (Is Women's Philosophy Possible?, The Madwoman's Reason, Ontological Humility: Lord Voldemort and the Philosophers, and most recently, Heidegger and the Problem of Consciousness), and edited two other volumes (Feminist Interpretation of Jacques Derrida and Feminist Interpretations of Martin Heidegger [with Patricia Huntington]). She published over thirty-five journal articles and book chapters on topics as diverse as feminist philosophy; the work of Derrida, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty; and the music of Prince.
After retiring from Hamline in 2017, she turned her part-time career as a novelist into a full-time occupation. She published two romance novels through HarperCollins UK (Owed: One Wedding Night and Found: One Secret Baby), and a third (A Christmas Romance) through Tule Publishing. She also won a PRISM award from Romance Writers of America for Thalgor's Witch, part of The Witch King trilogy, also published by Tule.
She is survived by her husband of thirty-eight years, Jeffrey W. Koon, and their two children. They are Gwendolyn Koon (Timothy Weeks), who manages a non-profit bicycle sales and repair shop in Portland, Oregon, and Justis Koon, who is a doctoral student in philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also survived by her brother, Glenn S. Holland, and his family. Her parents are the late Glen Holland and Marjorie Holland (nee Stanfield).
No services will be held. Memorial donations can be sent to Hamline University or Romance Writers of America, two organizations with which she had complicated but on balance positive relationships.
Published on February 9, 2020
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