June 19, 2007 Visiting Scholar Jenna Weissman Joselit To Study Ten Commandments in American Culture
Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692
Jenna Weissman Joselit, a Princeton University professor who was recently appointed Visiting Scholar at the John W. Kluge Center, is studying the variety of cultural forms in which the Ten Commandments appear in American culture. A professor of American studies and Modern Judaic studies at Princeton, Joselit’s appointment at the Kluge Center started June 1. She is conducting research in the Library of Congress collections for her forthcoming book on the Ten Commandments. Joselit is investigating a variety of cultural forms, including synagogue and church architecture, Sunday school pageants and Cecil B. de Mille’s legendary movies. Joselit is a nationally acclaimed scholar who has taught, lectured and published widely on both the modern Jewish experience and American vernacular culture. She is a frequent contributor to The New Republic and a long-standing columnist for The Forward. She is also the author of “A Perfect Fit: Clothes, Character and the Promise of America” and “The Wonders of America: Reinventing Jewish Culture, 1880-1950,” which received the National Jewish Book Award in History. A recipient of several grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, she has served as curator and contributed to more than 30 exhibitions throughout the United States and Israel, including the shows “Getting Comfortable in New York” and “A Worthy Use of Summer,” both at the Jewish Museum in New York, and “The Glitter and the Gold: Fashioning America’s Jewelry” at the Newark Museum. She was a consultant to the Library of Congress on its exhibition “From Haven to Home,” www.loc.gov/exhibits/haventohome/. Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize public discussion, distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and interact with policymakers in Washington. The Kluge Center houses five senior Kluge Chairs, other senior-level chairs and postdoctoral fellows. For more information about the Kluge Center; visit www.loc.gov/kluge/.