Ravit Reichman is an associate professor of English at Brown University, where her research and teaching focus on the relationship between literature and law in the twentieth century, with particular emphasis on psychoanalysis and the traumas of the world wars. Her first book, The Affective Life of Law: Legal Modernism and the Literary Imagination (Stanford University Press, 2009), details this relationship through the works of Hannah Arendt, Rebecca West, and Virginia Woolf.
At Radcliffe, Reichman will work on a book titled “Lost Properties of the Twentieth Century,” which interprets the experiences of loss in modernism against the background of shifting legal concepts of property from the end of the First World War to the post-Holocaust era. Elaborating an understanding of how property functions in literature, law, and politics, the project offers a genealogy of the propertied imagination, beginning with more-conventional notions of property, tracing the erosion of those notions after World War I, and ending in ideas of property restitution as a vehicle for justice.
Reichman received her BA in English literature and psychology from Georgetown University, her MPhil in English literature from the University of Oxford, and her PhD in comparative literature from Yale University. She has been a Fulbright Scholar in Israel and a Cogut Center for the Humanities Faculty Fellow at Brown. In addition to her book, she has published articles on capital punishment and the literary imagination, Albert Camus and postwar guilt, and the centrality of trivial details in jurisprudence.