News Release

Barbra Streisand: The first global Jewish superstar

International conference "CRITICAL BARBRA" pays tribute to multitalented artist

Meeting Announcement

Goethe University Frankfurt

Conference poster


International conference "CRITICAL BARBRA" pays tribute to multitalented artist. 

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Credit: Sam Siegel

FRANKFURT. One of her biographers once described her as the "world’s greatest living performer ": Barbra Streisand, born in Brooklyn, New York in 1942, is the focus of the international conference "CRITICAL BARBRA", held

from December 14 to 16

at Goethe University Frankfurt, Deutsches Filminstitut Filmmuseum

and the Jewish Museum Frankfurt

The event is organized by film scholars Prof. Vinzenz Hediger (Goethe University Frankfurt) and Prof. Marc Siegel (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz).

Barbra Streisand is one of the most visible and influential figures in cinema and the music industry. She became famous both as a singer, whose mezzo-soprano voice easily spans three octaves, and through numerous film roles, as a director, dancer, comedian and storyteller. From the 1980s onwards, she was for many years considered the most powerful woman in Hollywood. But Streisand was unique in another important way: Breaking with a long tradition of assimilation in the arts, she was the first recognizably and unapologetically Jewish global superstar. Sporting a Jewish name, Streisand abstained from and often made jokes about the kind of plastic surgery many of her predecessors in show business had undergone.

The CRITICAL BARBRA conference focuses on the multifaceted performer and cultural icon in a multidisciplinary perspective. Streisand's persona and work offer numerous opportunities to analyze modern and contemporary musical and visual culture in its full breadth and depth. "We believe that a conference on Streisand at this point in time can make a useful contribution to the debate about Jewish visibility and the rise of new forms of antisemitism, with a particular focus on current debates about the arts and the art world," says organizer Vinzenz Hediger.

CRITICAL BARBRA pays homage to different aspects of Streisand's talent by means of film screenings, academic lectures, discussions and performances. All events will be held in English.


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