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Bryan Cheyette

photograph of bryan cheyette

Areas of interest

Professor Cheyette has teaching and research interests in late-nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century literature, modernism and politics, fiction and ethnicity, postcolonial literature and theory, British-Jewish literature, theories of "race" and modernity, and Holocaust testimony. Before joining the University of Reading in 2005, he was Chair in Twentieth Century Literature, University of Southampton (1999-2005) and Reader in English & Judaic Studies at Queen Mary College, University of London (1992-1999).

His visiting appointments include the Padnos Visiting Professor in Judaic Studies and Associate Professor in English, Department of English, University of Michigan, 1997, the Brownstone Visiting Professor in English and Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, 2004, and visiting research fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2005. He is currently a visiting fellow at the University of Leeds, University of Southampton and Birkbeck College, University of London.

Professor Cheyette has supervised PhD dissertations on topics including Modernist Literature; Caribbean Literature; Holocaust Literature and Film; Nineteenth Century British-Jewish Women's Writing; Twentieth-Century British-Jewish poetry and drama; Post-war American Poetry and Trauma. He welcomes PhD applicants on all aspects of nineteenth-, twentieth- and twenty-first century literature.

He is the editor or author of ten books most recently Diasporas of the Mind: Jewish/Postcolonial Writing and the Nightmare of History (Yale University Press, 2013) and volume seven of the Oxford History of the Novel in English (on the British and Irish novel, 1940-present) which OUP will publish in 2016. He is also a Series Editor for Bloomsbury (New Horizons for Contemporary Writing) and has published over sixty chapters in books from T. S. Eliot to Bob Dylan and from Schindler's List to Philip Roth. He is a recovering reviewoholic who has published over 100 reviews in newspapers and literary weeklies. He is currently working on a short history of the Ghetto for Oxford UP and a monograph on Israel Zangwill.


Within the department I convene modules in:

  • Holocaust Testimony
  • Modernism and Politics
  • Fiction and Ethnicity
  • Contemporary Fiction
  • Diasporas of the Mind

I have also contributed to courses in:

  • Research and Criticism
  • Modernism
  • Literary Criticism and Theory
  • Modern Drama
  • What Kind of Text?

Selected publications

Recent publications which reflect my interests and include:

  • 'Muriel Spark, Trauma, and The Novel', Textual Practice (Winter 2019)
  • 'Postcolonialism and the Study of Antisemitism American Historical Review (Fall, 2018), 1234-40.
  • 'Against Supercessionist Thinking: Old and New, Jews and Postcolonialism, the Ghetto and Diaspora', The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry (Autumn 2017), 424-39.
  • 'A Race to Leave Alone: Kipling and the Jews' in In Time's Eye: essays on Rudyard Kipling, edited by Jan Montefiore (Manchester UP, 2013), pp. 250-84.
  • 'A glorious achievement: Edward Said and the last Jewish intellectual', Edward Said's Translocations: Essays in Secular Criticism (Routledge, 2012), pp. 74-97.
  • 'English anti-Semitism: A Counter-Narrative' in Textual Practice 25 (1), 2011, 18-34
  • 'T. S. Eliot and "Race": Blacks, Jews and Irish' in The Blackwell Companion to T. S. Eliot ed. David Chinitz (Blackwell, 2009), pp. 335-350
  • Ed. Wasafiri (Issue Number 57, Winter 2009) 'Jewish and Postcolonial Literatures and Histories'
  • 'On Being a Jewish Critic' in Anglophone Jewish Literature, ed. Axel Stahler (Routledge, 2007), pp.33-48
  • 'Primo Levi and Holocaust Studies' in The Cambridge Companion to Primo Levied. Robert Gordan (Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp.67-85
  • 'On the "D" Train: Bob Dylan's Conversions' and 'Secular and Religious Criticism' in Figures of Heresy: Radical Theology in English and American Writing ed. Andrew Dix and Jonathan Taylor (Sussex Academic Press, 2006), pp.171-95 and 206-9.
  • 'Fanon et Sartre: Noirs et Juifs', Les Temps Modernes (January 2006), pp. 159-174.
  • 'Frantz Fanon and the Black-Jewish Imaginary' in Frantz Fanon's 'Black Skin White Masks: New Interdisciplinary Essays' ed. Max Silverman (Manchester University Press 2005), pp.74-99.
  • 'Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' in A Companion to the British and Irish Novel, 1945-2000 ed. Brian Shaffer (Blackwell Publishing, 2005), pp. 367-375
  • 'Frantz Fanon and Jean-Paul Sartre: Blacks and Jews', Wasafiri (Spring 2005), pp. 7-12
  • (ed.) with Nadia Valman, The Image of the Jew in European Liberal Culture, 1789-1914 London and Oregon, Vallentine Mitchell, 2004
  • 'On Being a Jewish Critic', Jewish Social Studies (Fall, 2004), pp. 32-51
  • 'British-Jewish Writing and the turn towards the Diaspora' in The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century British Literature eds. Laura Marcus and Peter Nichols (CUP, 2004), pp.700-715
  • 'Muriel Spark in the 1990s' in Jewish Women's Writing of the 1990s and Beyond in Great Britain and the United States eds Ulrike Behlau and Bernhard Reitz,(Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2004), 135-144
  • 'Diasporas of the Mind: British-Jewish Writing Beyond Multiculturalism' in Diaspora and Multiculturalism: Common Traditions and New Developments ed. Monika Fludernik (Rodopi: 2003), pp. 45-82
  • 'British-Jewish Literature' in Jewish Writers of the Twentieth Century ed. Sorrel Kerbel (Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003), 7-10
  • 'Neither Excuse nor Accuse: T. S. Eliot's Semitic Discourse', Modernism/Modernity (volume 10 number 3) (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 431-437.
  • 'On the "D" Train: Bob Dylan's Conversions' in 'Do You Mr Jones?' Bob Dylan with the Poets and Professors ed. Neil Corcoran (Chatto & Windus: 2002, Pimlico: 2003), pp.221-252
  • 'Foreword' in Representing the Holocaust: In Honour of Bryan Burns ed. Sue Vice (Vallentine Mitchell, 2003), vii-ix.

I have also published:

  • Constructions of 'the Jew' in English Literature and Society: Racial Representations 1875-1945, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993 and 1995
  • 'Clive Sinclair and Philip Roth: Representations of Central Europe in British and American-Jewish Literature', in Forked Tongues: Comparing Twentieth-Century British and American Literature eds. Ann Massa and Alistair Stead (Longman, 1994), pp.355-73
  • 'La culture de l'auto-justification: la littérature judéo-anglaise et la fausse identité des Juifs anglais' Pardès (volume 21, 1995), pp. 94-105
  • 'Neither Black nor White: The Figure of the Jew in Imperial British Literature' in The Jew in the Text eds. Tamar Garb and Linda Nochlin (Thames & Hudson, 1995), pp. 31-41
  • 'British Jewish Literature' in The Jewish Year Book: Centenary Edition ed. Stephen Massil (Vallentine Mitchell, 1996), pp. lii-lxiii
  • 'Englishness and Extraterritoriality: British-Jewish Writing and Diaspora Culture' in Literary Strategies: Jewish Texts and Contexts: Studies in Contemporary Jewry, Volume XII (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp.21-40
  • '"Ineffable and Usable": Towards a Diasporic British-Jewish Writing', Textual Practice 10 (Spring 1996), pp.295-313
  • 'Israel' in The Oxford Guide to Contemporary Literature ed. John Sturrock (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp.238-49
  • (ed.) Between 'Race' and Culture: Representations of 'the Jew' in English and American Literature, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996
  • (ed.) HG Wells, Tono-Bungay, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997
  • 'The Uncertain Certainty of Schindler's List' in Spielberg's Holocaust: Critical Perspectives on 'Schindler's List' ed. Yosefa Loshitzky (Indiana University Press, 1997), pp. 226-38
  • 'White Skin, Black Masks: Jews and Jewishness in the Writings of George Eliot and Frantz Fanon' in Cultural Readings of Imperialism: Edward Said and the Gravity of History eds. Keith Ansell Pearson, Benita Parry and Judith Squires (Lawrence & Wishart, 1997), pp.106-26
  • (ed.) Contemporary Jewish Writing in Britain and Ireland: An Anthology, Lincoln: Nebraska University Press; London: Peter Halban, 1998
  • (ed.) with Laura Marcus, Modernity, Culture and 'the Jew', Cambridge: Polity Press; Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998
  • 'Englishness und Extraterritorialitat: Britisch-judisches Schreiben und die Kultur der Diaspora' in Judische Literatur und Kultur in Grosbritannien und den USA nach 1945 ed. Beate Neumeier (Harrassowitz Verlag, 1998), pp. 1-24
  • 'Between Repulsion and Attraction: George Steiner's Post-Holocaust Fiction', Jewish Social Studies (Spring-Summer, 1999), pp. 67-81
  • 'The Ethical Uncertainty of Primo Levi', Judaism (Winter, 1999), pp. 56-67
  • 'The Image of the Jew in Post-War English Literature' in Na 1945: Het beeld van de Jood in de West Europese Literatuur ed. Bertie Turksma-Heijmann (Culturele Werkgroep: Synagoge Delft, 1999), 92-109
  • Muriel Spark: Writers and their Work, Plymouth: Northcote House Publishers, 2000
  • 'Venetian Spaces: Old-New Literatures and the Ambivalent Uses of Jewish History', in Reading the 'New' Literatures in a Postcolonial Era ed. Susheila Nasta, (Boydell & Brewer, 2000), pp. 53-72
  • 'Between Repulsion and Attraction: George Steiner's Post-Holocaust Fiction' in The Holocaust and the Text: Speaking the Unspeakable eds. Andrew Leak and George Paizis (Macmillan Press, 2000), pp. 67-82
  • 'Liberal Anti-Judaism and the Victims of Modernity: A Response', American Literary History (volume 13, number 3) (Oxford University Press, 2001), pp.540-43
  • 'Race, Literary History and the 'Jewish' Question: A Response', Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History (volume 21 number 3) (Indiana University Press, 2001), pp.322-24
  • 'Writing against Conversion: Muriel Spark the Gentile Jewess' in Theorising Muriel Spark: Gender, Deconstruction, and Psychoanalysis ed. Martin McQuillan (Palgrave Press, 2002), pp. 93-112


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