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< All Fellows and Scholars

Dr. Brett Kaplan

Dr. Brett Kaplan
2009-2010 Judith B. and Burton P. Resnick Postdoctoral Fellow

"Landscapes of Holocaust Postmemory"

Professional Background

Brett Kaplan is Associate Professor in the Program in Comparative and World Literature and the Program in Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She received a Ph.D. and an M.A. in rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley; an M.A. in English literature-critical theory from the University of Sussex; and a B.A. with honors in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. For her Judith B. and Burton P. Resnick Postdoctoral Fellowship, Dr. Kaplan worked on the manuscript for her volume “Landscapes of Holocaust Postmemory.”

Dr. Kaplan is the author of Unwanted Beauty: Aesthetic Pleasure in Holocaust Representation (University of Illinois Press, 2007). She has also written many scholarly articles, including “Exposing Violence, Amnesia, and the Fascist Forest through Susan Silas and Collier Schorr’s Holocaust Art” in Images: A Journal of Jewish Art and Culture (2009); “On Helmbrechts Walk” in Camera Austria (Summer 2007); and “Masking Nazi Violence in the Beautiful Landscape of the Obersalzberg” in Comparative Literature (Summer 2007).

Fellowship Research

During her tenure at the Center, Dr. Kaplan researched the intersection of landscape, postmemory, and trauma in the wake of the Holocaust. She examined the way Holocaust landscapes and spaces have been used differently over time, and how these evolving uses resonate with the political and cultural status of the Holocaust today. Dr. Kaplan studied the aesthetic representations of postwar landscape through the works of artists and writers Lee Miller, Susan Silas, Collier Schorr, and J.M. Coetzee. She also examined the case of the Hotel InterContinental, which is a five-star hotel located on the site of the former Nazi holiday home near Berchtesgaden. She utilized the Museum’s collections of photographs and other archival sources to complete her research.

Dr. Kaplan was in residence at the Mandel Center from September 1, 2009 to March 30, 2010.