Anne Frank Unbound

Anne Frank Unbound

Media, Imagination, Memory
Edited by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Jeffrey Shandler
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/25/2012
Format: Paperback 15 color illus., 42 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-00739-1
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As millions of people around the world who have read her diary attest, Anne Frank, the most familiar victim of the Holocaust, has a remarkable place in contemporary memory. Anne Frank Unbound looks beyond this young girl’s words at the numerous ways people have engaged her life and writing. Apart from officially sanctioned works and organizations, there exists a prodigious amount of cultural production, which encompasses literature, art, music, film, television, blogs, pedagogy, scholarship, religious ritual, and comedy. Created by both artists and amateurs, these responses to Anne Frank range from veneration to irreverence. Although at times they challenge conventional perceptions of her significance, these works testify to the power of Anne Frank, the writer, and Anne Frank, the cultural phenomenon, as people worldwide forge their own connections with the diary and its author.

Author Bio

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is University Professor of Performance Studies and Affiliated Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. Her books include (with Mayer Kirshenblatt) They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland before the Holocaust and The Art of Being Jewish in Modern Times. She currently leads the exhibition development team for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

Jeffrey Shandler is Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. He is author of Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and Culture and While America Watches: Televising the Holocaust, editor of Awakening Lives: Autobiographies of Jewish Youth in Poland before the Holocaust, and editor (with Hasia R. Diner and Beth S. Wenger) of Remembering the Lower East Side (IUP, 2000).


“Looking beyond the most familiar victim of the Holocaust at the numerous ways people have engaged her life and writing.”

“This astute collection of essays unpacks the complexity of Anne Frank as the source of numerous editions, artworks, musical compositions, plays, films, novels, souvenirs, memorials, museums, and so on. It is a superb pedagogical tool for examining the particular impact of Anne Frank’s story as well as the larger issue of how cultural icons are constructed, circulate, and inspire engagement.”
 — Marita Sturken, New York University

“In their highly readable, illuminating essays, a cutting-edge cast of scholars explores the Anne Frank Phenomenon--the myriad mediations that one little plaid notebook has inspired over the last seven decades. . . . Rich and penetrating, Anne Frank Unbound brings into focus the world's ongoing engagement with a girl who has been constantly reinvented as paradigm, paragon, and even parody.”
 — Alisa Solomon, Columbia University

“A brilliantly conceived and long overdue opening up [or deconstruction] of the Anne Frank story.”
 — James Clifford, Professor Emeritus, History of Consciousness Department University of California, Santa Cruz

“These essays provide fresh takes on Anne Frank, her diary, and historical magnitude. The volume leaves the reader in a new place of discovery and awareness.”
 — Shelley Hornstein, coeditor of Image and Remembrance: Representation and the Holocaust (IUP, 2002).

“This collection of brilliant essays offers fascinating and unexpected insights into the significance of Anne Frank’s iconic Holocaust-era diary from many disciplinary perspectives in the arts and humanities.”
 — Jan T. Gross, Princeton University

“This engrossing collection of 12 interdisciplinary essays covers multiple aspects of 'the Anne Frank phenomenon' . . . The overall aim is to provide a greater understanding of the general and particular engagement with Anne Frank as a person, a symbol, an icon, an inspiration, and perhaps most polarizing, as one victim, not the victim of the Nazi holocaust.”
 — Broadside

“Principally the work of senior international scholars in history, literature, Hebraic and Judaic studies, and performance and film studies, and of museum curators, this volume is a major contribution to scholarship regarding Anne Frank's diary and its cultural influence. . . . Highly recommended. ”
 — Choice

“Anne Frank Unbound . . . tell[s] us a great deal about the myriad uses to which one individual story has been and can be put. . . . In addition to these ethical and political questions, the essays engage productively with the aesthetic choices made by writers, visual artists, filmmakers, performance artists, and comedians, who recast Anne Frank in a variety of media and situations. . . . If Anne Frank Unbound is any indication, the diary will certainly continue . . . to raise a set of persistent ethical, political, and aesthetic questions that have been with us since its first publication. ”
 — Women's Review of Books

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Anne Frank, The Phenomenon
Part I: Mediating
1. From Diary to Book: Text, Object, Structure Jeffrey Shandler
2. From Page to Stage Edna Nahshon
3. In Moving Images Leshu Torchin
Part II: Remembering
4. Hauntings and Sitings in Germany Henri Lustiger Thaler and Wilfried Wiedemann
5. Teaching Anne Frank in America Ilana Abramovitch
6. Anne Frank as Icon, from Human Rights to Holocaust Denial Brigitte Sion
7. Anne Frank, a Guest at the Seder Liora Gubkin
Part III: Imagining
8. Literary Afterlives of Anne Frank Sara R. Horowitz
9. Suturing In: Anne Frank as Conceptual Model for Visual Art Daniel Belasco
10. Sounds from the Secret Annex: Composing a Young Girl’s Thoughts Judah M. Cohen
Part IV: Contesting
11. Critical Thinking: Scholars Reread the Diary Sally Charnow
12. Anne Frank on Crank: Comic Anxieties Edward Portnoy
Epilogue: The Anne Frank Tree—A Life of Its Own Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett
End Notes
Musicography Judah M. Cohen
Videography Aviva Weintraub

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