Thomas Trezise specializes in modern French literature and literary theory, continental philosophy, trauma studies, and Holocaust studies. He earned his B.A. summa cum laude from Cornell University and his M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University, having 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 (Princeton University Press, 1990 and 2016) and Witnessing Witnessing: On the Reception of Holocaust Survivor Testimony (Fordham University Press, 2013). His other publications include the French translation of Paul de Man’s Allegories of Reading (Galilée, 1989), the edition and co-translation of Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe’s The Subject of Philosophy (Minnesota, 1993), and an edited volume of Yale French Studies entitled Encounters with Levinas (2004).
Trezise’s ongoing work includes a personal narrative about secondary trauma in the aftermath of the sexual assault suffered by his spouse, Susan Brison, in France; and, in the longer term, essays on the literature and culture of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Trezise teaches undergraduate courses on twentieth-century French literature and on representations, in various media and genres, of the Holocaust. At the graduate level, his seminars focus on the twentieth-century novel, literary theory from phenomenology to post-structuralism, philosophical approaches to subjectivity and language, especially in Levinas and Blanchot, and the literature of trauma.