B.A. in History, Lehman College in the Bronx

Ph.D. in History of American Civilization, Harvard University

Research Interests

Documentary film, the history of social deviance, film and history, and American prostitution and the culture of the sex trade.

Biographical Notes

Leslie Fishbein is Associate Professor of American Studies and an affiliated faculty member of Jewish Studies, Urban Studies, Cinema Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies.

My primary research interest is in the way in which American prostitutes and madams have represented themselves in the public sphere and the relationship between that self-representation and the history of public policy and mainstream social and cultural understandings of prostitution and of the women and girls in the sex trade.

Her book, for which she won the New York State Historical Association Manuscript Award, Rebels in Bohemia: The Radicals of The Masses, 1911-1917, is a study of the simultaneous, and often schizophrenic, commitments to socialism, anarchism, syndicalism, Freudianism, feminism, and bohemians of radicals who lived in Greenwich Village during the Teens and published a socialist literary and political magazine. She currently is at work on a book on the self-representation of American prostitutes and madams entitled Memoirs of the Sex Trade: A Cultural History of Prostitution and on a book on memoirs and memory of Jewish-American women entitled Jewish-American Women: Contested Lives.

In 1986-1987 Fishbein served as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at the University of Haifa in Israel. She has served on the Advisory Board of the Rutgers New Jersey Jewish Film Festival since its inception and is a lecturer for the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

Her teaching interests include the history of deviance, the culture of American women, New York metropolitan culture, the history of Freudianism in America, Greenwich Village, the history of sexuality, the culture of the Sixties, the history of childhood, the history of black-Jewish relations, and Jewish-American women's self-representation in memoirs and film.