The University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums explores current exhibition Let Me Be Myself: The Life Story of Anne Frank through the Exhibition Spotlight program series in a special two-part virtual panel event. Pentacrest Museums Director of Education & Engagement, Carolina Kaufman will moderate discussion with panelists on a variety of related topics to share the story and legacy of Anne Frank and her impact on society. These sessions will illuminate how Frank's story has inspired new approaches in the teaching of difficult topics and themes in accessible and relevant ways that learners of all ages can identify with including exhibitions, workshops, seminars, children's literature, and more.
The two-part webinar series kicks off in Session I offering a local lens on the story of Anne Frank bringing three notable individuals who brought Anne's story to life in the Hawkeye state. Doyle Stevick, Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center at the University of South Carolina, will speak about the traveling exhibit; Let Me Be Myself: The Life Story on Anne Frank (currently on display at the Old Capitol Museum) and its unique educational approach putting young people at the forefront of the teaching experience; Dr. Kirsten Kumpf Beale, Lecturer and Outreach Coordinator of German at the UI DWLLC who will highlight how the University of Iowa became a chosen site of the Anne Frank chestnut tree sapling to be planted on the Pentacrest later this year; and Janet Hesler, Director of the Danville Museum, and the Anne Frank Pen Pal Exhibit, who will share in Iowa's unique connection between Anne Frank and young girls from Danville, Iowa who participated in a pen pal exchange in 1939.
Moderator: Carolina Kaufman - University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums Director of Education and Engagement
Session I Panelists:
- Doyle Stevick, Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center at the University of South Carolina: Doyle Stevick is the founding Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center at the University of South Carolina and the Official Partner of the Anne Frank House in the United States, the only partner site in North America. Dr. Stevick is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policies, and former Director of European and Russian Studies. Twice a Fulbright Fellow to Estonia, his research bridges Citizenship Education, the Rule of Law, and Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust. He has edited two books on Civic Education and three on Holocaust Education, as well as numerous articles. His scholarship and practice are focused upon building a Culture of Evidence and Community of Upstanders.
- Janet Hesler, Director of the Danville Museum and the Anne Frank Pen Pal Exhibit: Janet and her husband Bob Hesler, along with Sherry and Paul Drinkall, and Ed and Joyce Blow, founded the Danville Museum on March 2007 in hopes of telling the important story of an Iowan teacher in 1939 who matched up her students with penpals in Amsterdam. A sixth grader in the class drew the name of Anne Frank. The letters exchanged between Juanita and Betty Wagner and Anne and Margot Frank before the war intervened are now on exhibit with hopes of teaching coexistence, understanding, and peace.
- Dr. Kirsten Kumpf Baele, Lecturer and Outreach Coordinator of German in the Division of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures at the University of Iowa: Kirsten E. Kumpf Baele, Ph.D. is Lecturer and Outreach Coordinator of German in the Division of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures at the University of Iowa. In addition to teaching courses on German literature, language, and culture, she created and annually teaches the popular seminar Anne Frank & Her Story. It is her proposal that successfully brings the 13th Anne Frank horse chestnut tree to the University of Iowa and by extension to the larger Iowa City community. For this reason, she is collaborating with numerous campus and city organizations to put forward programming that connects with the anticipated sapling. In support of this project, she is serving as co-awardee of the Anne Frank Initiative 2022 (with the upcoming Provost’s Global Forum). In the classroom Kumpf Baele combines learning goals and community service projects in ways that enrich student growth and the common good. Specifically in Anne Frank & Her Story, she makes accessible difficult (hi)stories and the impact these have on post-secondary students. With the support of an Iowa Center for Undergraduate (ICRU) full-year student fellow, the Iowa Women’s Archives (IWA), and the Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, she is spearheading a project that will implement an interactive digital map and app to shed light on Jewish history in the Iowa City and larger Corridor area. Kumpf Baele identifies that the “body” can serve for students as a site of knowing not only the self but also for developing empathy for other persons both locally and globally. In this sense, her focus on community engagement draws parallels with and calls attention to the “helper figure” (the upstander) and the hope associated with this figure both in past and present times. A similar civic initiative has been her work with the Oakdale Community Choir which takes place inside the Oakdale prison, a medium-security prison in Coralville, Iowa. In conjunction with this volunteer work, she developed a first-year seminar “Penned In: Voices of the Confined” which asks students to study and discuss imprisonment in its varying forms. One component of the course includes a prison visit during which students talk with inmates about their experiences with art and literature. Kumpf Baele continuously pushes her students and herself as educator to personalize the past by localizing it with stories from their respective local communities. Kumpf Baele has recently published in Amsterdam University Press, McFarland, and LIT Verlag. In the summer of 2022, supported with a fellowship from the Stanley-UI Foundation and International Programs, Kumpf Baele will serve as a Visiting Fellow to conduct scholarly work with a focus on embodied pedagogy at Ghent University together with an Associate Professor in the Department of Translation, Interpreting, and Communication which builds on Kumpf Baele’s public humanities work on Anne Frank.
Let Me Be Myself: The Life Story of Anne Frank, now on display at the Old Capitol Museum, connects Anne Frank's life story with the present and makes the fate of the millions of victims of the persecution of the Jews during the Second World War personal and palpable.
The exhibition is presented as the Provost's Global Forum (2021), organized by University of Iowa International Programs in partnership with a variety of campus faculty & interdepartmental support.
Exhibition Spotlight is an ongoing program series dedicated to educational illumination of an aspect of current exhibits featured at the University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums. A variety of webinars, interviews, panel discussions, special performances, artist profiles, behind-the-scenes process examinations, and more, this series will take a closer look at the changing exhibits we offer.