Brett received his B.A. in English from Amherst College in 2003 and his M.A. in art history from the Courtauld Institute in London in 2007. Before coming to Northwestern, he spent time teaching English in France and studying music. His research interests center on Modernism, critical theory, the relations between the arts (literature and painting in particular), Marxist theory, Psychoanalysis, representations of the built environment in nineteenth and twentieth century French and American literature, theories of urban space and sound. He is also interested in theories of consciousness and crowds.