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The Big Jewcy: Joshua Lambert, Faculty Fellow at New York University

Joshua Lambert, who finished his Ph.D. in English literature at the University of Michigan last year, has dedicated himself to the study Jews and obscenity and the transformative roles Jews played in 20th century American culture. "In general, people should be informed and thoughtful about where their culture comes from… understanding the crucial roles Jews have played in American media, comedy, pornography, music and literature is important for that reason, at least," he said. He’s doing this by working with modern and postmodern Jewish literature, having published a JPS guide to American Jewish Fiction and reviewing Jewish books for Tablet Magazine and The Forward, among others. Why is this important? "To my mind, contributing to [the longest-running textual tradition in world history] through innovations in the European and American forms of the novel, comic book and stand-up comedy bit is every bit as valuable and interesting as doing so by reciting tehillim or analyzing a Talmudic makhloket," Lambert said.

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