Women and the Holocaust with Dr. Jennie Hirsh

Women and the Holocaust with Dr. Jennie Hirsh


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This seminar explores the ways in which gender affected experiences during the Holocaust and, in particular, explores the legacy of a selection of artists and writers. Through a curated selection of key artistic and intellectual figures linked to Holocaust history, participants will emerge with a deeper awareness of the female voice in connection to the Holocaust.

We will explore the paintings and writings of key figures, such as painter Charlotte Salomon and writers Anne Frank and Ruth Klüger, as well as the representation of women in fictional films, such as the female characters featured in works such as Liliana Cavani's 1974 Night Porter and the 1978 TV mini-series Holocaust: The Story of the Family Weiss. Moreover, we will think about the role of gender in Holocaust testimony, as shown in works such as Claude Lanzmann's Shoah (1985) and Four Sisters (2018). Finally, we will consider the work of key scholars in understanding the importance of gender in Holocaust history.

Led by an expert on modern and contemporary art as well as postwar cinema, this interactive seminar will explore the lasting contributions of key women connected with the Holocaust experience itself as well as postwar scholarship on the topic. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels and intellectual explorations, participants will come away with an increased sense of how the female voice has shaped what we know about the Holocaust.

Jennie Hirsh (PhD, Bryn Mawr College) is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton and Columbia Universities, as well as pre-doctoral fellowships from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, the U.S. Fulbright commission, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the Wolfsonian FIU. Hirsh has authored essays on artists including Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Yinka Shonibare, and Regina Silveira, and is co-editor, with Isabelle Wallace, of Contemporary Art and Classical Myth (Ashgate 2011).

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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