Phyllis Lassner Professor of Instruction, The Cook Family Writing Program, Jewish Studies, Gender Studies
Phyllis Lassner teaches themed writing courses at all undergraduate levels, from first year to upper-level seminars, ranging across disciplines and subject matter from Holocaust representation to spy thrillers. Each term she chooses texts and films based on her current research which emphasizes the historical background of World War II as a defining crisis of the twentieth-century and an ongoing inspiration for literature and film. Engaging such issues as human rights, belonging, and exile, her courses are cross-listed and offered in the Gender Studies and Jewish Studies programs.
Her teaching also extends to seminars and presentations at various Chicago area institutions such as the Illinois Holocaust Museum, Spertus College of Jewish Studies, and Oakton Community College, as well as at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Based on her research and teaching, she has created and edits the Northwestern University Press book series, “Cultural Expressions of World War II: Interwar Preludes, Responses, Memory.”
Among the books published so far is Out of Chaos: Hidden Children Remember the Holocaust, an anthology of stories and, poems that she will be teaching in her writing seminar: “Children and the Holocaust.”
Her own research has resulted in articles on interwar and World War II writing and books on the Anglo-Irish writer Elizabeth Bowen, on British Women Writers of World War II, Colonial Strangers: Women Writing the End of the British Empire, and Anglo-Jewish Women Writing the Holocaust. She has been invited to lecture on her research and teaching at universities and conferences in Israel, Belgium, Germany, and Britain and is currently writing a book titled Espionage and Exile, a study of the haunting presence of World War II and the Holocaust in British spy fiction and film.
Phyllis Lassner’s professional service includes serving as peer reviewer and advisory board member of various academic journals and publishers as well as having served as Co-President of The Space Between Society: Literature and Culture 1914-1945. She is also on the advisory board of the Holocaust Education Foundation.
She has been awarded the International Diamond Jubilee Fellowship at Southampton University, where she will be presenting and leading workshops on her research, 2015-2017.