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Iris Bruce, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English

Location: Togo Salmon Hall, Room 502
Phone: 905-525-9140 x.24697

Areas of Interest

Iris Bruce’s research interests focus on Franz Kafka in his time and in contemporary popular culture; Linguistics; German; Europe


She has published widely on Kafka and Yiddish literature, Jewish folklore, cultural Zionism, as well as on modern appropriations of Kafka (film and fiction). Her book, Kafka and Cultural Zionism: Dates in Palestine (U of Wisconsin Press, 2007), highlights Kafka’s critical engagement with his ethnic and cultural identity and the politics of his age. Moving from modernism to postmodernism, her present research project, Kafka after Kafka, investigates reasons for Kafka’s popularity in so many cultures around the world. Drawing on film and fiction by David Cronenberg, Woody Allen, Nadine Gordimer, Haruki Murakami, Kobo Abe, A.B. Yehoshua, as well as on comics, her book explores how kafkaesque motifs of metamorphosis, marginality, power, and identity become expressions of (post-)modernity. Moreover, her interest in cultural Zionism found a new focus and direction in Israel Studies, through Brandeis University, shifting from pre-holocaust Zionism to contemporary Zionism and post-Zionist critiques in Israel now. She teaches in Linguistics and Languages, as well as in the Dept. of English and Cultural Studies: German/Thtre & Film/CL 2S03: The Split Screen: Modern Germany through Cinema; a language & culture course, German 2ZZ3; English/CSCT/Peace Studies 4IP3 & CL 3MM3: The Literature of Israel and Palestine; English 4KK3: Kafka after Kafka; English/CSCT 3F03 & CL 3JJ3: The Fairy Tale.




Kafka and Cultural Zionism: Dates in Palestine. University of Wisconsin Press, 2007.





Refereed Book Chapters:

“Jewish Education: Borderline and Counterdiscourses in Kafka.” Kafka, Zionism, and Beyond. Ed. Mark H. Gelber. Niemeyer, 2004. 107-145.

“Kafka and Jewish Folklore.” The Cambridge Companion to Kafka. Ed. Julian Preece. Cambridge UP, 2002. 150-168. Series: Cambridge Companions to Literature.

“Kafka and Popular Culture.” The Cambridge Companion to Kafka. Ed. Julian Preece. Cambridge UP, 2002. 242-246. Series: Cambridge Companions to Literature.

“Kafka’s Journey into the Future: Crossing Borders into Israeli/Palestinian Worlds.” Kafka for the Twenty-First Century. Eds. Stanley Corngold and Ruth V. Gross. Camden House, 2011. 222-236. Series: Studies in German Literature, Linguistics, and Culture.

“Lurking in Shadows: Kleinman’s Trial and Defense.” A Companion to Woody Allen. Eds. Peter J. Bailey and Sam B. Girgus. Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. 339-358. Series: Wiley-Blackwell Companions to Film Directors.

“Mysterious Illnesses of Human Commodities in Woody Allen and Franz Kafka: Zelig.” The Films of Woody Allen: Critical Essays. Ed. Charles L. P. Silet. Scarecrow, 2006. 171-197.

“‘the Medium is the Message’: Cronenberg ‘Outkafkas’ Kafka.” Mediamorphosis: Kafka and the Moving Image. Eds. Shai Biderman and Ido Lewit. Wallflower, 2016. 210-235.

“Transatlantic Solitudes: Canadian-Jewish and German-Jewish Writers in Dialogue with Kafka.” Rebirth of a Culture: Jewish Identity and Jewish Writing in Germany and Austria Today. Eds. Hillary Hope Herzog, et al. Berghahn, 2008. 122-142.

“Which Way Out? Schnitzler’s and Salten’s Conflicting Responses to Cultural Zionism.” A Companion to the Works of Arthur Schnitzler. Ed. Dagmar C. G. Lorenz. Camden House, 2003. 103-126. Series: Studies in German Literature, Linguistics, and Culture

“‘A Frosty Hall of Mirrors’: Father Knows Best in Franz Kafka and Nadine Gordimer.” Evolving Jewish Identities in German Culture: Borders and Crossings. Eds. Linda E. Feldman, Diana Orendi, and Sander L. Gilman.Praeger, 2000. 95-116.