Jeffrey Shandler studies Jewish cultural encounters with modernity, examining a wide range of practices among diaspora Jews, primarily in North America and Eastern Europe from the late nineteenth century to the present. His work examines Jewish memory practices, especially the remembrance of the Holocaust and prewar Jewish life in Eastern Europe; Jewish cultural history, especially 20th-century media practices; Yiddish language, literature and culture; and the intellectual history of Jewish Studies, among other topics.
Shandler’s books include While America Watches: Televising the Holocaust (Oxford University Press, 1999); Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and Culture (University of California Press, 2005), a study of contemporary Yiddish culture; Jews, God, and Videotape: Religion and Media in America (New York University Press, 2009), which analyzes the impact of new communications technologies and media practices on American Jews’ religious life in the 20th century, from early recordings of cantorial music to hasidic outreach on the Internet; Shtetl: A Vernacular Intellectual History (Rutgers University Press, 2014), an examination of how Jewish life in East European provincial towns has become the subject of extensive creativity, memory, and scholarship, from the early modern era to the present; and Holocaust Memory in the Digital Age: Survivors’ Stories and New Media Practices, Stanford University Press, (2017), which explores the nexus of new media and memory practices in the largest collection of videotaped interviews with survivors and other witnesses to the Holocaust. Among other titles, Shandler is the editor of Awakening Lives: Autobiographies of Jewish Youth in Poland before the Holocaust (Yale University Press, 2002) and co-editor of Entertaining America: Jews, Movies, and Broadcasting (Princeton University Press, 2003) and Anne Frank Unbound: Media, Imagination, Memory (Indiana University Press, 2012).
At Rutgers, Professor Shandler teaches courses on Holocaust memory, Yiddish language, and modern Jewish culture, among other topics.