Welcome to my website! I live in Wilmington, North Carolina, where I teach Jewish studies in the history department at UNCW. I joined the department in 2010, after a two year stint as a Schusterman post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in the foothills of Apalachia, at Ohio University. I completed my Ph.D. in Russian and Jewish History at UC Berkeley in May 2008, where I was fortunate to work with Yuri Slezkine, John Efron, and Reggie Zelnik.
My book, City of Rogues and Schnorrers (Indiana UP, 2011) examines how the Russian city of Odessa was mythologized as a Jewish city of sin, celebrated and vilified for its Jewish gangsters, pimps, bawdy musicians, and comedians.
My current project is on the history of Jewish humor. Although I primarily focus on America since the 1960s, I trace its origins to the Yiddish speaking shtetls of eastern Europe. To truly understand Seinfeld and Sarah Silverman, one must understand Sholem Aleichem.
When I am not buried in the library, I spend my time biking, at the beach, or filming my kids, Sarah and Max, in embarrassing situations.