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The University of Southampton
The Parkes Institute

Discovering new meanings in special collections: Roundtable discussion in collaboration with the Jewish Museum London Seminar

Event photo
18:00 - 19:30
18 January 2022
Online Event.

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Clodagh Owens at .

Event details

The evening will feature a roundtable discussion focusing on how exciting, diverse and interdisciplinary research has been and can be conducted in the special collections at the Jewish Museum London and the Parkes Institute at the University of Southampton. It features current and former Parkes doctoral students, Katie Power and Jennifer Craig-Norton along with Frances Jeens, Interim Director at the Jewish Museum, and Karen Robson, Head of Archives at Southampton.

About the event

This event is jointly organised by the Jewish Museum London and The Parkes Institute.

Speaking from the Jewish Museum London, Katie Power will discuss Yiddish Theatre in London via posters, programmes, and costumes from productions throughout the twentieth century including the Ilustrirter Teater Shpigl (Illustrated Theatre Mirror), a Yiddish/English language periodical published by the New Yiddish Theatre Company. This monthly periodical provides updates on the activities of the theatre and more importantly, the thoughts, feelings and motivations of those both on- and off-stage, and shines a light on the influences that kept the theatre alive in the post-Holocaust era. She also makes use of visual sources, such as photographs and props, to demonstrate how non-written archive items are used by scholars for research to interpret the past and create a better understanding of the context in which they were created and existed. She will demonstrate how imagery of costumes and stage scenery can be used to understand a production and performance in absence of recordings or scripts and aims to share the story of post-war Yiddish theatre through this lens.

Jennifer Craig-Norton will highlight one document each from each of the Kindertransport actors in her research and briefly explain how they affected her when she first found them, why they are important for understanding unexplored aspects of the Kindertransport, and what they can tell us about the experiences of Kindertransportees, their families and those who looked after them after they were separated from their parents. While doing her PhD research on the Kindertransport, she explored the papers of Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schonfeld (MS185) -one of the University of Southampton Special Collections’ largest, most varied and comprehensive archives- and stumbled upon the dossiers of about 100 children who came to the UK on three small Kindertransports from Poland in 1939. These records, along with the case files of about 80 children brought to the UK by the West London Synagogue, also held at the University of Southampton, are among the rarest of resources for Kindertransport researchers.

The evening will be chaired by Dr George Gilbert and Nicola Woodhead , followed by a Q&A.

Audiences can join this roundtable on Zoom, with livestreaming from the Jewish Museum London and the Archives at the University of Southampton.

Book your free ticket from the link above. A Zoom link will be emailed separately nearer to the date of the talk.

Speaker biographies

Katie Power is a PhD student at the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations, University of Southampton. Her doctoral research focuses on the history of Yiddish theatre in London during and after the Second World War, with particular focus on the development of a Yiddish art theatre in London. Yiddish theatre in London has attracted little scholarly attention, and so her thesis sets out to rectify this while demonstrating that London was home to a Yiddish community which reacted to the atrocities of the war through a renewed effort to establish a modern, secular Yiddish cultural hub in London.

Dr Jennifer Craig-Norton is an independent scholar and Visiting Fellow of the Parkes Institute, University of Southampton. She is currently teaching remote courses on Holocaust memory and Jewish refugees at the University of Paderborn, Germany and writing a book on Jewish refugee domestics and nurses 1938-1950. She completed her PhD on the Kindertransport at the University of Southampton under the supervision of Professor Tony Kushner, which she later published as The Kindertransport: Contesting Memory (Indiana University Press, 2019). She was also a co-editor of Migrant Histories and Historiographies: Essays in honour of Colin Holmes (Routledge Studies in Radical History and Politics, 2018), with Christhard Hoffman and Tony Kushner and has published numerous articles on both the Kindertransport and Jewish refugee domestics.

Dr. George Gilbert (he/him) is a Lecturer in Modern Russian History at the University of Southampton and oversees Post-graduate Research. He is a specialist in modern Russian history, with research interests focusing most closely on events, places and people from the exciting revolutionary period of Russia’s history (c. 1881-1917). His past research has included study of right-wing movements in early twentieth-century Russia. More broadly he is most interested in social and cultural history, and nationalism, national identity, and commemorative culture in this same era.
Twitter: @GeorgeGilbert

Nicola Woodhead is a history PhD student at the Parkes Institute, University of Southampton. Her PhD focuses on the Kindertransport, specifically the transmigrant journeys of Kinder. She is also an Ian Karten Outreach Fellow at the Parkes Institute and the post-graduate representative for the Parkes Institute.

Karen Robson is Head of Archives and Special Collections, University of Southampton Library.

Frances Jeens is the Interim Director of the Jewish Museum London.

The Markel brothers (Willy, Simon, David and Richard) Chemnitz, Germany circa 1928
The Markel brothers (Willy, Simon, David and Richard) Chemnitz, German
Teater Shpigl
Teater Shpigl
Meier Tzelniker on stage in the New Yiddish Theatre Company's performance of The Merchant of Venice. Abish Meisels can be seen in the prompt box. Object number: Y1-7
Meier Tzelniker on stage in the New Yiddish Theatre Company's performa
 Meier Tzelniker (as Shylock) and his daughter Anna Tzelniker (as Portia), with director Robert Atkins in their dressing room at Adler Hall.
Meier Tzelniker (as Shylock) and his daughter Anna Tzelniker (as Port
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