Keohane Distinguished Lecture: Memory, Representation, and the Power of Fiction

November 8, -
Speaker(s): Brett Ashley Kaplan (Director of the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, University of Illinois)
Memory touches nearly every aspect of our lives and profoundly shapes culture. How we represent ourselves, both individually and collectively, draws on the stories we tell about our past, which depend in part on memory. This lecture will draw on Professor Kaplan's novel in progress, which imagines the recovery of Nazi-looted objects found in a Vietnamese refugee center in provincial England. Kaplan will explore how the field of critical memory studies can inform fiction, as well as the strengths and limitations of fiction in conveying multicultural borrowing and conflict.

Join Brett Ashley Kaplan, professor of comparative and world literature at the University of Illinois and the 2023-2024 Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University, for the Keohane Distinguished Lecture at the Nasher Museum of Art (2001 Campus Drive, Durham) on November 8. A public reception will take place immediately before or after the lecture; times to be confirmed.

This event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available at the Nasher Museum of Art.

Brett Ashley Kaplan directs the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at the University of Illinois. She publishes in Haaretz, The Conversation,, As It Ought to Be Magazine, AJS Perspectives, Contemporary Literature, Edge Effects and The Jewish Review of Books. She has been interviewed on NPR, the AJS Podcast and The 21st, and is the author of "Critical Memory Studies," "Unwanted Beauty," "Landscapes of Holocaust Postmemory," and "Jewish Anxiety and the Novels of Philip Roth," as well as a novel, "Rare Stuff." See for more information.

Learn more about the Keohane Professorship at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke:…

Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies


Center for Jewish Studies; Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI); Jewish Life at Duke; Kenan Institute for Ethics; Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship; Provost's Office; Religious Studies