Alice Kaplan

Alice Kaplan's picture
John M Musser Prof
82-90 Wall St, Rm 324


1981 Ph.D., Yale University, New Haven, CT, with a major in French and a minor in philosophy

1975 B.A., University of California at Berkeley with a major in French
Departmental Citation, Phi Beta Kappa

1973-74 Université de Bordeaux III, Bordeaux, France

Alice Kaplan, John M. Musser Professor of French, came to Yale in 2009 after many years on the faculty at Duke University, where she was the founding director of the Duke University Center for French and Francophone Studies and a professor of Romance Studies, Literature, and History.

Her first book, Reproductions of Banality (1986), was a theoretical exploration of French fascism. Since then she has published books on Céline’s anti-semitic pamphlets (Sources et citations dans ‘Bagatelles pour un massacre’), on the treason trial of Robert Brasillach (The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach), and on American courts-martial in newly liberated France (The Interpreter). The Interpreter was the recipient of the 2005 Henry Adams Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government; The Collaborator was awarded the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award in History and was a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critic’s Circle awards. She is probably best known for her 1993 memoir, French Lessons, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award in biography/autobiography. Her literary translations include books by Roger Grenier (Piano Music for Four Hands, Another November, and The Difficulty of Being a Dog), Louis Guilloux (OK, Joe), and Evelyne Bloch-Dano (Madame Proust).

 A new book, Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis, will be published in 2012 by the University of Chicago Press and the Editions Gallimard. Current research interests include World War II and post-war France, literature and law, biography/autobiography, and French cultural studies.

 Recent undergraduate courses include “Camus: Politics and Passion in Postwar France,” “Proust and Céline,” “The Experience of Being Foreign,” and “Literary Trials.” Upcoming courses include “The Modern French Novel” (with Maurice Samuels) and a film course on French cinema of the Occupation. Recent graduate courses include “The Archives: Fact and Fiction” and “French National Identity.”

(Photo by Catherine Hélie)