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

November 8, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professor 2023-2024


Memory, Representation, and the Power of Fiction

Brett Ashley Kaplan (Director of the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, University of Illinois)

Wednesday, November 8, 2023 – 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Nasher Museum of Art, Auditorium [Map]

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.


The Keohane Professorship brings prominent faculty to serve as visiting professors at UNC and Duke for a one-year period, during which they deliver a lecture series and engage students and faculty around areas of shared interest to both institutions. Ultimately, the program is designed to energize new scholarly connections between Duke and UNC. This professorship recognizes the remarkable contributions of Nannerl Keohane during her term as president of Duke University, and the unprecedented level of collaboration she and former UNC Chancellor James Moeser facilitated between these two great institutions.


For 2023-24, Professor Ashley Kaplan will visit Carolina and Duke campuses three times this academic year, to give community lectures, academic seminars, visit classrooms, and meet with undergraduates, grad students and faculty at both campuses. This program is managed by the provost offices at both campuses, this year in collaboration with the Duke Center for Jewish Studies and the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies.


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.


November 8, 2023
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


carolina center for jewish studies
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