Thomas Trezise

Department Chair
Email Address:
Office Location: 
316 East Pyne

Office Hours:
by appointment via WASS only


Thomas Trezise specializes in modern French literature, contemporary literary theory, recent Continental philosophy, and Holocaust studies. He earned his B.A. from Cornell University and his Ph.D. from Yale University, and also studied at the University of Paris and the University of Strasbourg. He joined the Princeton faculty in 1986 after teaching at Dartmouth College. He is the author of Into the Breach: Samuel Beckett and the Ends of Literature as well as of the French translation of Paul de Man’s Allegories of Reading. He also edited, co-translated, and wrote a forward to Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe’s The Subject of Philosophy and recently edited a volume of Yale French Studies entitled Encounters with Levinas. His Witnessing Witnessing: On the Reception of Holocaust Survivor Testimony was published by Fordham University Press in 2013.

Current Research 

Professor Trezise is currently working on two projects: The Art of Survival, short readings of Tadeusz Borowski, Charlotte Delbo, Imre Kertész, Ruth Kluger, and Jorge Semprun; and a book on Emmanuel Levinas devoted to issues that have been largely neglected in extant commentary.

Teaching Interests 

Professor Trezise teaches undergraduate courses primarily on twentieth-century French literature and on representations of the Holocaust. At the graduate level, his seminars cover the twentieth-century French novel, literary theory, philosophical approaches to subjectivity and language, and the relation between trauma and testimony.