Anxious Histories: Narrating the Holocaust in Jewish Communities at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century

Anxious Histories: Narrating the Holocaust in Jewish Communities at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century

by Jordana Silverstein


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Over the last seventy years, memories and narratives of the Holocaust have played a significant role in constructing Jewish communities. The author explores one field where these narratives are disseminated: Holocaust pedagogy in Jewish schools in Melbourne and New York. Bringing together a diverse range of critical approaches, including memory studies, gender studies, diaspora theory, and settler colonial studies, Anxious Histories complicates the stories being told about the Holocaust in these Jewish schools and their broader communities. It demonstrates that an anxious thread runs throughout these historical narratives, as the pedagogy negotiates feelings of simultaneous belonging and not-belonging in the West and in Zionism. In locating that anxiety, the possibilities and the limitations of narrating histories of the Holocaust are opened up once again for analysis, critique, discussion, and development.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781785335235
Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/01/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 254
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jordana Silverstein is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne, with the ARC Laureate Fellowship Project ‘Child Refugees and Australian Internationalism: 1920 to the Present’. She is co-editor of In the Shadows of Memory: The Holocaust and the Third Generation (Vallentine Mitchell, 2016) and has published widely on Holocaust memory and histories of Jewish identity.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Holocaust Historiography, Anxiety and the Formulations of a Diasporic Jewishness

Chapter 1. ‘Don’t ever think that it can’t happen again’: Memories of the Holocaust, Anxieties of Difference

Chapter 2. ‘I think it makes it more real that way’:  Chronology, Survivor Testimony and the Holocaust

Chapter 3. ‘From the utter depth of degradation to the apogee of bliss’: Uncanny and Mimicking Diasporic Zionism

Chapter 4. ‘There is no doubt that it was a Jewish experience’: The Forgetfulness of a Haunting Settler-Colonialism

Chapter 5. ‘Why the role of women was any more special than the role of the rest of them’: Circumscribing Jewish Femininity in Holocaust Pedagogies

Conclusion: ‘It’s an unusual topic you’ve chosen’: Negotiating Emplacement Through History-Making


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