Call for Papers: The Diaries of Anne Frank. Contextualisation— Reception— Representations

Call for Papers for early career scholars: Workshops

The diaries of Anne Frank. Contextualisation— Reception— Representations

Lichtenberg Kolleg, Georg August Universität Göttingen/ Fritz Bauer Institute, Frankfurt

Workshop 1 – Contextualisation: September 2014 (Florence, 17-18 September 2014)

Workshop 2 – Reception: April 2015 (Sussex)

Workshop 3 – Representations: September 2015 (t.b.a.)

Deadlines CFP: 15 March 2014 (workshop 1)/ 1 May 2014 (workshops 2/3)

Seventy years after the end of the Second World War our knowledge about the war and the Holocaust is based upon a wide variety of sources and a rich range of historiographies. Amongst the first sources to be published, and quickly acquiring a rather unique status, were the diary notes of Anne Frank. Around the world many children and teenagers have read and are still reading editions of Anne´s diaries—either at school or in private. In the biography of many readers as well as in national commemorative cultures the engagement with the war and the Holocaust began with the diary of Anne Frank. It became a symbol.

So far much research has focused on important issues such as the authenticity of the diaries. The Lichtenberg Kolleg at the Georg August Universität Göttingen and the Fritz Bauer Institute at the University of Frankfurt are currently jointly preparing a new historical-critical edition of the diaries of Anne Frank in Dutch, English and German as well as an accompanying research monograph. This new project aims to open up a range of additional and new perspectives, exploring the history of Anne Frank and her diaries within the framework of more comparative European, if not global cultural, intellectual, literary and political history.

In addition to a number of fellows working at the Lichtenberg Kolleg on issues of contextualisation, reception and representation of the diaries, we also plan to explore these questions in-depth during three workshops that will be held in September 2014 (Contextualisation), April 2015 (Reception) and September 2015 (Representations) respectively.

Our first workshop will focus on ‘contextualisation’. What were the broader cultural, intellectual and political contexts from which the diaries originated? Which literary models were available to Anne Frank when she wrote her texts? Which cultural and moral connections did she make? To what extent do the diaries belong to Jewish cultures? What were the political circumstances of Jews in the occupied Netherlands, in Germany or the neighbouring states? Which experiences and traditions did the Frank family bring to the Netherlands? What were the war time experiences of teenagers—in Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt, St. Petersburg/Leningrad?

Our second workshop will focus on ‘reception’. Why and how were the diaries read across the globe? What are the translation and publication histories of the diaries? Which metamorphoses did the history of Anne Frank experience, as it was adapted in a wide variety of regions, countries and cultures across the globe for decades? How did a teenage girl, living in hiding due to the Nazi persecution of the Jews, became a worldwide symbol in the memory cultures of the Holocaust? And what, to open up a final normative dimension, should the legacy of the diaries be in the near future?

Our third workshop will focus on ‘representation’. How have the diaries since their original publication been adapted and represented? What did, and does, it mean to perform the diaries, to put them on the stage, in the theatre, in the movies? How has the legacy of Anne Frank been represented in exhibitions all over the world? What lessons for future generations have been forwarded and suggested on the basis of the diaries in all these representations?

Early career scholars are invited to send their abstracts for a 30-45 minute paper to participate in one of the workshops. Papers given at these workshops will be considered for inclusion in the research monograph, to be submitted to Cambridge University Press in 2016. Please send your abstract (600 words maximum) by March 15, 2014 (workshop 1) or May 1, 3014 (workshops 2/3) to: