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Brett Ashley Kaplan

Professor of Comparative and World Literature, Director, Program in Jewish Culture and Society, Director, Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Brett Ashley Kaplan received her Ph.D. from the Rhetoric Department at the University of California, Berkeley in 2002 and is now a Professor and Conrad Humanities Scholar in the Program in Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where she directs the Program in Jewish Culture & Society and the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies.

Her first books, "Unwanted Beauty: Aesthetic Pleasure in Holocaust Representation" (2007) and "Landscapes of Holocaust Postmemory" (2011), examine the Shoah’s intersections with art and space. Turning more recently to race in art and literature, she has published "Jewish Anxiety in the Novels of Philip Roth" (2015) and is working on a project tentatively entitled "Jewblack is Blackjew: Tensions, Intersections, and Interactions among Jewishness and Blackness in Contemporary Art."

She teaches classes in Jewish American Literature in Dialogue with U.S. Minority Cultures, Literary Responses to the Holocaust, Introduction to Theory, Introduction to Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies, and single author/auteur classes on J.M. Coetzee, Philip Roth, Woody Allen, Marguerite Duras and Alain Resnais.


  • –present
    Professor of Comparative & World Literature, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign