Jenna Weissman Joselit
Charles E. Smith Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of History, Director of the Program in Judaic Studies
|Address:||2142 G St. NW
Jenna Weissman Joselit, a historian of everyday life, specializes in the history and culture of America’s Jews and in U.S. cultural history from the late 19th century on through the 1950s. Her work, both within and without the classroom, pays especially close attention to the relationship between material culture and identity. Her books include The Wonders of America: Reinventing Jewish Culture, 1880-1950, which received the National Jewish Book Award in History, and A Perfect Fit: Clothes, Character, and the Promise of America. Professor Weissman Joselit is currently at work on a book about America’s embrace of the Ten Commandments. A founding member of NYU’s Working Group on Jews, Media and Religion, she has also been a Senior Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of American Religion, a fellow at Yale University’s Center for Art and Material Culture and the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Judaic Studies. Most recently, Professor Weissman Joselit has been a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress. She directs the Master of Arts in Jewish Cultural Arts program. In addition to her academic pursuits, she writes a monthly column on American Jewish culture for The Forward newspaper and is a frequent contributor to The New Republic, TNR Online, Gastronomica, and Tablet: The Online Magazine of Jewish Culture. Jenna's blog can be found at fromunderthefigtree.com. (Complete C.V.)
Ph.D., Columbia University.
"Fiddler on the Roof Distorted Sholem Aleichem" New Republic, June 7, 2014
"Mendelssohn's Tea Pot: How Artists Reinvent the Jewish Past and the Jewish Future." Zeek, December 18, 2013.
"Israel on the Hudson." Jewish Review of Books 4, no. 1 (Spring 2013).
"My Country, My Country." TNR: The Book, August 1, 2012.
"Forum - American Religion and the Old and New Immigration." Religion and American Culture 22, no. 1 (Winter 2012): 2-7.
“Jews Don’t Eat Insects.” TNR: The Book, August, 2011.
“Enlightened Views.” Tablet, July 1, 2010.
"Culture Mavens: Feeling At Home in America," Jewish Cultural Studies, Vol. 2, 2010.
“When Moses Saved the Man of Steel.” The Forward, June 19, 2009.
“Notice! Getting under the Cheerful Surface of Historical Signage.” Nextbook, January 13, 2009.
“Paste and Future.” The New Republic, November 19, 2008: 42-44.
“Rules Writ Large: Keith Haring’s Confounding ‘Ten Commandments.’” Nextbook, November 19, 2008.
A Parade of Faiths: Religion in American Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
“Best-in-Show: American Jews and the Modern Museum.” In Imagining the American Jewish Community, ed. Jack Wertheimer, 141-57. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England, 2007.
“Fun and Games: American Jews and the Pursuit of Leisure.” In The Columbia History of Jews and Judaism in America, ed. Marc Lee Raphael, 246-62. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.
“Man of the People: How Moses Became an American Icon,” TNR Online, August 28, 2007.
The Wonders of America: Reinventing Jewish Culture, 1880-1950. New York: Picador, 2002. Winner, National Jewish Book Award in History.
A Perfect Fit: Clothes, Character, and the Promise of America. New York: Henry Holt, 2002.
“The Special Sphere of the Middle-Class American Jewish Woman: The Synagogue Sisterhood.” In The American Synagogue: A Sanctuary Transformed, ed. Jack Wertheimer, 206-230. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Our Gang: Jewish Crime and the New York Jewish Community. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983.