Announcing the 2023 Fryer Fellow

We are pleased to announce Dr Anna Jacobson has been awarded the Fryer Library Fellowship for 2023. Anna will be working with the Rudolf Pekarek Papers in the Fryer Library.

About the Fryer Fellowship project

Anna's main area of research during the fellowship will be an article titled Dvořák works as ‘transitional object’ in the programming of conductor and Holocaust Survivor Rudolf Pekarek.

Introduction and impetus for the project

In a newspaper clipping held by the Sydney Jewish Museum, the article ‘Whistle helped him to trace his wife’ outlines how Dvořák's New World Symphony has special meaning for Czech conductor Rudolf Pekarek. Pekarek was separated from his wife Terry in a concentration camp. Pekarek states: ‘One day I was working in the yard near the women’s section. I whistled part of the ‘New World’ Symphony’. Terry started whistling where I left off. I did not see her, but I knew that she was alive.’

About the project

Anna's project will analyse the concert programs and ephemera in Rudolf Pekarek’s scrapbooks within the 16 boxes (UQFL153) in the Fryer Library collection, looking through the lens of Dvořák's works as ‘transitional object’ in Pekarek’s programming choices as a conductor. 

Transitional objects can include ‘musical objects that survivors clung to during and after the Holocaust for consolation’, as defined in a paper about the role of music for musician Holocaust survivors before, during and after the Holocaust by Fisher and Gilboa (2016). 

Anna will analyse the connection between Pekarek’s programming of Dvořák​​​​​​​ throughout his conducting career and its link to being a ‘transitional object’ of healing and comfort for him as a Holocaust Survivor.

In addition to submitting the article to a scholarly journal, Anna will deliver a public presentation at the Fryer Library on her research and she is also planning to write an article titled The Scrapbook as Object: The healing effects of scrapbooking nostalgia as storytelling after trauma, for which she will use Pekarek’s scrapbooks as case studies and create a digital component in the form of a blog post for the Fryer Library website.

About Anna

Dr Anna Jacobson

Anna Jacobson is an award-winning writer and artist from Meanjin (Brisbane). Amnesia Findings (UQP, 2019), her first full-length poetry collection, won the 2018 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize. Her second illustrated poetry collection, Anxious in a Sweet Store, is forthcoming with Upswell in September 2023. In 2020 Anna won the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing and was awarded a Queensland Writers Fellowship. In 2018 she won the Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award. Her writing has been published in literary journals and anthologies including Cordite, Rabbit, Griffith Review, Australian Poetry Journal, Meanjin, and more.

Her art has been exhibited throughout Australia in finalist exhibitions including the Brisbane Portrait Prize, Olive Cotton Photographic Portraiture Award, the Blake Art Prize, and the Marie Ellis OAM Prize for Drawing. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Creative Writing from QUT and a Master of Philosophy (specialising in poetry) from QUT, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Creative and Professional Writing) from QUT, a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from UQ, and a Bachelor of Photography with Honours from Griffith University.


Last updated:
12 July 2023