How can we explain the prominence of Jews and Jewishness in 21st-century American media? At a moment when companies like Amazon and Netflix were making billion-dollar gambits to reach massive audiences with their own original content, it turned out to be Jill Soloway’s Transparent that proved that a website could beat out the cable and broadcast television networks at the Golden Globes and Emmys. As much as these recent successes might seem to echo the influential roles played by Jews in American media and popular culture throughout the 20th century, they also reflect dramatic changes in demography, commerce, and technology. This lecture proposes that we consider the current wave of Jewish culture as resulting from two key developments: the increasing institutionalization of Jewish culture in America since the late 20th century, and the affinity between streaming media technology and demographic minorities.

Image (Lambert)

About the Speaker: Josh Lambert is the Academic Director of the Yiddish Book Center and Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is the author of American Jewish Fiction (2009), and Unclean Lips: Obscenity, Jews, and American Culture (2014), which won a Jordan Schnitzer Book Award from the Association for Jewish Studies. His reviews and essays have appeared in publications including the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Haaretz, and the Forward.



Lia Brozgal (UCLA)


Sponsored by
The UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
Cosponsored by the
UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
UCLA French & Francophone Studies
UCLA Center for the Study of Women
UCLA Department of English
UCLA Department of Gender Studies