Joshua Teplitsky is the Joseph Meyerhoff Associate Professor of Modern Jewish History. He studies the history of Jewish life in early modern Central Europe, with an eye both to the particularities of Jewish experience and the wider contexts of Jewish-Christian interaction, minority experience, and what the history of minorities reveals about majority culture.
His first book, Prince of the Press: How One Collector Built History’s Most Enduring and Remarkable Jewish Library (Yale, 2019), explored the history of an early eighteenth-century Jewish book collector, with an eye to the history of material texts, the history of collecting, and the cultures of learning and power in which his library was formed. The book was awarded the Salo Baron Prize of the American Academy for Jewish Research for best first book in Jewish Studies in 2019, the 2020 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award of the Association for Jewish Studies, and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.
Teplitsky received his PhD from NYU in 2012, and has held fellowships at the University of Oxford, the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, at Harvard University, Tel Aviv University, and the Yad Hanadiv/Beracha Foundation Programme at the National Library of Israel. In addition, he has twice been a fellow at Penn’s Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies.
He is as co-director (alongside Michelle Chesner of Columbia University, Marjorie Lehman of the Jewish Theological Seminar of America, and Adam Shear of the University of Pittsburgh) of the digital humanities project Footprints: Jewish Books Through Time and Place, an ongoing collaborative research project that reconstructs the history of Jewish books-in-motion from the invention of print through their contemporary provenance. He also serves as an associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Jewish Book Cultures Online and on the editorial board of the German Jewish Cultures monograph series.
In 2022 he published an edited volume entitled Be Fruitful! The Etrog in Jewish Art, Culture, and History (Mineged Press), with Sharon Liberman Mintz and Warren Klein.
He is currently at work on a second monograph, provisionally titled Quarantine in the Prague Ghetto: Jews, Christians, and the Plague in Early Modern Europe. The book reconstructs a six-month plague epidemic in the city of Prague in the early eighteenth century, and uses the event as a window into examining Jewish life in the context of the wider city, exploring medical, religious, economic, and social life through the prism of crisis.
Ph.D. NYU, 2012
Jewish history; epidemics and society; book history
HIST 2605: The Jewish Book from Scroll to Screen (Fall 2022)