Gabriella Safran


Gabriella Safran, PhD

  • Eva Chernov Lokey Professor in Jewish Studies
  • Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Director of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Chair of the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages
  • Affiliated faculty at The Europe Center

Building 40, Room 42K
Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305

(650) 723-4414 (voice)



Princeton University: Ph.D., Slavic Languages and Literatures, 1998. Dissertation: "Narratives of Jewish acculturation in the Russian Empire: Bogrov, Orzeszkowa, Leskov, Chekhov." Adviser: Caryl Emerson

Yale University: B.A., magna cum laude, with honors in Soviet and East European Studies, 1990. Senior Essay: "The descent of the raznochinets literator: Osip Mandelstam's 'Shum vremeni' and evolutionary theory." Adviser: Tomas Venclova

Columbia University/YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Program in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture, Summer 1999

University of Pennsylvania. Courses in Yiddish language and culture, 1996-1998

Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland. Courses in Polish language, Summers 1993 and 1996

Herzen Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia. Courses in Russian language and culture, Spring 1989

Lycée Privé Gasnier-Guy, Chelles, France. Baccalauréat B (Economics and Social Sciences) with High Honors, June 1986

Previous courses

Beyond Fiddler on the Roof

Anton Chekov and the Turn of the Century

Russia and the Other: A cultural Approach

Selected publications

"Isaac Babel's El'ia Isaakovich as a New Jewish Type," Slavic Review, Vol. 61, No.2 (Summer 2002) (pp. 253-272).

"Nikolai Semenovich Leskov (M. Stebnitsky)." Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 238: Russian Novelists in the Age of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, ed. J. Alexander Ogden and Judith E. Kalb. San Francisco: The Gale Group, 2001 (pp. 160-175).

Rewriting the Jew: Assimilation Narratives in the Russian Empire. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000

"Dancing with Death and Salvaging Jewish Culture in Austeria and The Dybbuk," Slavic Review, Vol. 59, No. 4 (Winter 2000) (pp. 761-781).

"Ethnography, Judaism, and the Art of Nikolai Leskov," The Russian Review, Vol. 59 (April 2000) (pp. 235-251).

"Evangel'skii podtekst i evreiskaia drama vo 'Vladychnom sude' N. S. Leskova" [The New Testament subtext and the Jewish drama in N. S. Leskov's "Episcopal Justice"], Evangel'skii tekst v russkoi literture XVIII-XX vekov: Tsitata, reministsensiia, motiv, siuzhet, zhanr (The Gospels in eighteen- to twentieth-century Russian literature: citation, evocation, motif, subject, genre) (Vol. 2). Petrozavodsk, Russia: Izdatel'stvo petrozavodskogo universiteta, 1999 (pp. 462-470).

"Love Songs Between the Sacred and the Vernacular: Pushkin's 'Podrazhaniia' in the Context of Bible Translation." Slavic and East European Journal, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Summer 1995) (pp. 165-183).

Current projects

Gabriella Safran is the author of Rewriting the Jew: Assimilation Narratives in the Russian Empire, which received both the National Jewish Book Award (East European Studies Division) and the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literstures in 2001. In the spring of 2001, she and History Professor Steven Zipperstein co-organized a conference on the Russian and Yiddish writer, ethnographer, and revolutionary S. Ansky; currently they are editing a collection of articles on the same topic. During the 2002-2003 academic year, Safran will be participating in a research seminar at the Center for Judaic Studies of the University of Pennsylvania, where she will be completing a literary biography of Ansky.

Professional activities

Organized "Between Two Worlds: S. An-sky at the Turn of the Century, An International Conference." Stanford University, March 17-19, 2001.


December 2019

Dialect Jokebooks and Russian-Yiddish and English-Yiddish Dictionaries (Chapter in The Whole World in a Book: Dictionaries in the Nineteenth Century)

cover link Dialect Jokebooks and Russian-Yiddish and English-Yiddish Dictionaries (Chapter in The Whole World in a Book: Dictionaries in the Nineteenth Century)