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Professor Brett Ashley Kaplan

Professor of French and Italian,Germanic Languages and Literatures, and Jewish Culture and Society

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Brett Ashley Kaplan received her Ph.D. from the RhetoricDepartment 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 morerecently to race in art and literature, she has published Jewish Anxiety in the Novels of Philip Roth (2015) and is workingon a project tentatively entitled jewblack is blackjew:tensions, intersections, and interactions among jewishness and blackness incontemporary art. She teaches classes in Jewish American Literature inDialogue 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.

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • Holocaust art and literature, Jewish American literature, race and ethnicity in contemporary visual and performance art


  • Ph.D. Berkeley, Rhetoric, 2002



  • Kaplan, Brett A. Jewish Anxiety and the Novels of Philip Roth. . Bloomsbury, 2015.
  • Kaplan, Brett A. Landscapes of Holocaust Postmemory. . New York: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, 2011.
  • Kaplan, Brett A. Unwanted Beauty: Aesthetic Pleasure in Holocaust Representation. . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007.

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