Professor of Instruction, The Writing Program, Jewish Studies,
and Gender Studies
PhD, Wayne State University
Kresge Hall, 2-250
Phyllis Lassner teaches themed sections of Intermediate Composition that focus on many subjects that have motivated students to become deeply involved in their writing. In addition to her spring term course, "Writing About Children and the Holocaust," she now offers courses on "Writing About Spy Fiction and Film" at the Intermediate and Freshman Seminar levels. These courses offer students opportunities to develop their writing skills as they explore the powerful and complex themes that shape stories and other artwork about these compelling experiences. She also teaches "Representing the Holocaust in Literature and Film," taught every winter in Jewish Studies and "Gender, Race, and the Holocaust in the Gender Studies Program in the fall.
Dr. Lassner's research and publications are deeply related to her teaching; they focus on the responses of modern British women writers to World War II and colonialism. She is the author of two books on the Anglo-Irish writer Elizabeth Bowen, British Women Writers of World War II, Colonial Strangers: Women Writing the End of the British Empire, and many articles about interwar and wartime women writers. Her latest book, Anglo-Jewish Women Writing the Holocaust, was published Fall 2008.
Other professional activities include giving fireside talks at the Women's Residential College and serving as Co-President of the scholarly society, The Space Between: Literature and Culture 1914-1945, for which she hosted the tenth annual conference here at Northwestern, June 2008. After completing her three year term on the Northwestern University Press Board, she was asked to create and edit a new book series based on her teaching and research interests. The result is "Cultural Expressions of World War II: Interwar Preludes, Responses, Memory." She recently completed a five year term on the Modern Language Association Executive Committee for Twentieth Century English Literature.
Among the many rewards of teaching, she feels especially proud of her undergraduate students who have won awards for their writing and of her graduate student, Paula Derdiger, who won the award for outstanding Master's Thesis in 2008 and has now entered the PhD program in English literature at McGill University.
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