Ernst van Alphen

Comparative Literature, Leiden
Fellowship: 01.09.2012 - 31.08.2013


Ernst van Alphen is Professor of Literary Studies at Leiden University. In his research he is interested in issues that are central in modern and post-modern literature and in the relation between literature and the visual arts. The literary texts and art works on which he focusses are usually part of the movements of the historical avant-gardes, modernism, or postmodernism. Before he came to Leiden University, he worked at Utrecht University and the University of Nijmegen; at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam he held the post of Director of Communication and Education. Ernst van Alphen has also been appointed as Queen Beatrix Professor of Dutch Studies, as well as Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Califormia, Berkeley.


Fields of Research

Avantgardes, Gender studies, Holocaust studies, Relationships between the Arts


Publications (Selection)

  • Bang voor schennis? Inleiding in de ideologiekritiek.(Afraid of Violation? Introduction to the Critique of Ideology) Utrecht, HES Publishers 1987.
  • Bij wijze van lezen. Verleiding en verzet van Willem Brakmans lezer.(As a Manner of Reading. Seduction and Resistance of Willem Brakman's Reader), Muiderberg, Coutinho 1988.
  • Francis Bacon and the Loss of Self. London, Reaktion Books; Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press 1993.
  • De toekomst der herinnering. Essays over moderne Nederlandse literatuur. Amsterdam, Van Gennep 1993.
  • Op poëtische wijze. Een handleiding voor het lezen van poëzie. Bussum (1996; reprinted 2006), Coutinho. Co-authors: L. Duyvendak, M. Meijer and B. Peperkamp.
  • Caught by History. Holocaust Effects in Contemporary Art, Literature and Theory. Stanford CA 1997, Stanford University Press.
  • Armando: Vormen van Herinnering. Rotterdam (2000), NAi Uitgevers; English edition: Armando: Shaping Memory. Rotterdam 2000.
  • Schaduw en Spel: Herbeleving, Historisering en Verbeelding van de Holocaust. Rotterdam 2004.
  • Art in Mind: The Contribution of Contemporary Images to Thought. Chicago 2005: University of Chicago Press.