Family Frames: Photography, Narrative and Postmemory

Family Frames: Photography, Narrative and Postmemory

by Marianne Hirsch

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Family Frames: Photography, Narrative and Postmemory by Marianne Hirsch

Family photographs - snapshots and portraits, affixed to the refrigerator or displayed in gilded frames, crammed into shoeboxes or catalogued in albums - preserve ancestral history and perpetuate memories. Indeed, photography has become the family's primary instrument of self-representation. In Family Frames, Marianne Hirsch uncovers both the deception and the power behind this visual record.

Hirsch provocatively explores the photographic conventions for constructing family relationships and discusses artistic strategies for challenging these constructions.
When we capture our family photographically, we are often responding to an idealized image. Contemporary artists and writers, Hirsch shows, have exposed the gap between lived reality and a perceived ideal to witness contradictions that shape visual representations of parents and children, siblings, lovers and extended families. This book exposes the passions and rivalries, the tensions and anxieties that have for the most part remained on the edges or outside family albums. And it also permits us to appreciate the power of family photographs and the important role they have assumed in shaping personal and cultural memory, particularly through the traumatic dislocations of the post-war and post- Holocaust moment.

Family Frames offers both a theoretical analysis and a passionate exploration of photographs. All who cherish family pictures now have a new frame for viewing them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781470007485
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 02/28/2012
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 322
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

MARIANNE HIRSCH is William Peterfied Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and Professor in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. She is Vice-President of the Modern Language Association of America. Her current interests include cultural memory, testimony and photography. Her most recent books are Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory, written with Leo Spitzer; Rites of Return: Diaspora Poetics and the Politics of Memory, co-edited with Nancy K. Miller, and The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust. She is also the author of The Mother/Daughter Plot: Narrative Psychoanalysis, Feminism and editor or co-editor of a number of volumes, including Conflicts in Feminism, The Familial Gaze, and Teaching the Representation of the Holocaust.

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