Photo from Duke Chronicle, courtesy of John and Penni Brown

Kaila Brown was PAL Assistant Director from 2010-2013. Her friends and colleagues at the Center for Philosophy, Arts, and Literature and the Franklin Humanities Institute remember Kaila with warmth and love as we mourn her death on Sunday September 21, 2014. She was a vibrant, irreplaceable part of the PAL community.

Kaila was a fifth-year graduate student in the English Department at Duke. She completed a bachelors degree at Brigham Young University in 2009.

Brown remembered as “pure, honest soul”

Duke Chronicle Letters “Remembering Kaila”


Treasured Memories of Kaila at PAL:

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Kaila at the first Writing is Thinking in 2011

Kaila was luminous. She shone with passion for literature, and for ideas. She was everyone’s favorite student. I was privileged to be allowed to work with her for five years. Our hearts go out to Kaila’s friends and family. — Toril Moi



Leonore and Kaila, April 2012

Kaila and I were a team—an efficient duo at PAL, and an amusing pair as friends. She was brimming with delight, insight, and intelligence. Her generosity and kindness were contagious. I will miss her laugh, and I will miss her love. — Leonore Fleming


Trying oysters for the first time at Revolution, Sept 2011








Kaila Brown was a beautiful soul, illuminated by her capacious loves–for books, for thinking, for dance and theatre–and above all, for others. She was funny, quick-minded, full of wit, spunk and spark. She was a catalyst for others. I am so sad to lose her.  –Sarah Beckwith

Kaila traveling with Duke in London

Kaila traveling with Duke in London

Kaila carried the banner for PAL while Toril was on leave. She was a model for me in how to host a rich intellectual community through attention to detail, grace, good spirits, and passionate inquiry.  She shaped us in indelible ways.–Heather Wallace



Kaila in conversation with a PAL invited speaker, 2012

Images courtesy of Leonore Fleming and Sarah Beckwith