Bio


Gabriella Safran has written on Russian, Polish, Yiddish, and French literatures and cultures. Her most recent book, Wandering Soul: The Dybbuk's Creator, S. An-sky (Harvard, 2010), is a biography of an early-twentieth-century Russian-Yiddish writer who was also an ethnographer, a revolutionary, and a wartime relief worker.

Safran teaches and writes on Russian literature, Yiddish literature, folklore, and folkloristics. She is now working on a set of projects investigating nineteenth-century short Russian and Yiddish fiction in the context of the history of listening.

As the chair of the DLCL, Safran is increasingly interested in how academic structures affect teaching, learning, and scholarship in languages and literatures.

Academic Appointments


  • Professor, Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Professor (By courtesy), German Studies

Administrative Appointments


  • Assistant Professor, Stanford University (1998 - 2003)
  • Associate Professor, Stanford University (2003 - 2010)
  • Full Professor, Stanford University (2010 - Present)
  • Appointed to Eva Chernov Lokey Chair in Jewish Studies, Stanford University (2011 - Present)

Honors & Awards


  • Scott Prize for Excellence in Slavic (Best Senior Essay in Russian Literature, Yale University (1990)
  • Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (1992 - 1997)
  • Dissertation Fellowship, Social Science Research Council (1997 - 1998)
  • National Jewish Book Award, Eastern European Studies Division, Jewish Book Council (2001)
  • Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures, Modern Language Association (2001)
  • Best Book in Literary or Cultural Studies, American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (shared) (2002)
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Stanford University (2007)
  • Fellowship, Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania (2002 - 2003)
  • Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize in Yiddish Studies, Modern Language Association (2008)
  • Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in Jewish Literature and Linguistics (Honorable Mention), The Association for Jewish Studies (2011)
  • Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize, (short-listed), ASEEES, Stanford University Center for Russian and East European Studies (2011)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Director, Iberian and Latin American Cultures (2014 - 2015)
  • Chair of outside review committee, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University (2014 - 2014)
  • Member, Book Prize Committee, American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (2013 - Present)
  • Member, Committee on Committees, Stanford University (2013 - 2013)
  • Outside reviewer, School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (2013 - 2013)
  • Chair of Undergraduate Studies, Slavic Department, Stanford University (2012 - Present)
  • Evaluator of postdoctoral applications, American Council of Learned Societies (2012 - Present)
  • Member, Editorial Board, East European Jewish Affairs (2012 - Present)
  • Member, Faculty Senate, Stanford University (2012 - Present)
  • Member, Stanford Press Editorial Board, Stanford University (2012 - Present)
  • Chair, Reappointment Committee for Nariman Skakov, Stanford University (2012 - 2013)
  • Member, Helix Committee, Stanford University (2012 - 2013)
  • Preliminary evaluator for a diplôme d’habilitation à diriger des recherches, École des hautes études en sciences sociales (2012 - 2012)
  • Chair, Division of Literature, Cultures and Languages (DLCL), Stanford University (2011 - Present)
  • Member, Europe Center Steering Committee, Stanford University (2011 - Present)
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies, Slavic Department, Stanford University (2011 - 2015)
  • Member, Bing Overseas Studies Program (BOSP) Director Search Committee, Stanford University (2011 - 2012)
  • Member, Tenure Committee for Vincent Barletta, Stanford University (2011 - 2012)
  • Evaluator of fellowship applications, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (2011 - 2011)
  • Director, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Stanford University (2010 - Present)
  • Faculty Affiliate, Slavianskii Dom, Stanford University (2010 - Present)
  • Member, Appointments and Promotions Committee, Stanford University (2010 - Present)
  • Member, Senior Scholar Committee, International Forum of Young Scholars on East European Jewry (2009 - Present)
  • Member, Faculty Senate, Stanford University (2009 - 2011)
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies, Slavic Department, Stanford University (2009 - 2010)
  • Division of Literature, Cultures and Languages (DLCL) transition working group, Stanford University (2009 - 2010)
  • Director, Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Stanford University (2007 - 2010)
  • Member, Scaglione Book Prize Committee, Modern Languages Association (2007 - 2010)
  • Committee on Review of Undergraduate Majors (C-RUM), Stanford University (2007 - 2007)
  • Member of Executive Committee, Presidential Fund for Innovation in the Humanities, Stanford University (2007 - 2007)
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies, Slavic Department, Stanford University (2006 - 2007)
  • Outside reviewer, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Toronto (2006 - 2006)
  • Interim Chair, Slavic Department, Stanford University (2005 - 2006)
  • Member of Planning and Personnel Comm. (PPC), Division of Literature, Cultures and Languages (DLCL), Stanford University (2005 - 2006)
  • Search committee for position in Film Studies, Art History, outside member, Stanford University (2005 - 2006)
  • Member, Board of Directors, International Center for Russian and East European Jewish Studies (2004 - Present)
  • Graduate Affairs Committee, Division of Literature, Cultures and Languages (DLCL), Chair, Stanford University (2004 - 2007)
  • Member, Book Prize Committee, American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (2004 - 2007)
  • Introduction to the Humanities (IHUM) Steering Council, member, Stanford University (2004 - 2006)
  • Sophomore Advisor, Stanford University (2004 - 2006)
  • Search committee for position in International or Comparative Ed., School of Ed., outside member, Stanford University (2004 - 2005)
  • Graduate Affairs Committee, Division of Literature, Cultures and Languages (DLCL), member, Stanford University (2003 - 2007)
  • Member, Awards Committee, Post-doctoral program in the Humanities, Stanford University (2003 - 2007)
  • Director of Graduate Studies, Slavic Department, Stanford University (2003 - 2006)
  • Member, Awards Committee, Humanities Center, Stanford University (2003 - 2004)
  • Search committee for position in modern Japanese lit., Asian Languages and Lit., outside member, Stanford University (2003 - 2004)
  • Sophomore Affairs Committee, member, Stanford University (2001 - 2002)
  • Faculty Affiliate, Slavianskii Dom, Stanford University (1999 - 2006)
  • Executive Committee, Division of Literature, Cultures and Languages (DLCL), junior member, Stanford University (1999 - 2001)

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Princeton University, Slavic Languages and Literatures (1998)
  • B.A., Yale University, Soviet and East European Studies (1990)

2017-18 Courses


All Publications


  • The Troubled Frame Narrative: Bad Listening in Late Imperial Russia RUSSIAN REVIEW Safran, G. 2013; 72 (4): 556-572

    View details for DOI 10.1111/russ.10706

    View details for Web of Science ID 000323723800002

  • Jewish Literature in America on the Eve of the Depression 1929: Mapping the Jewish World Safran, G. edited by Diner, H., Estraikh, G. New York: New York University Press. 2013: 171–184
  • Some Russian Jewish Writers in Switzerland and the Valorization of Jewish Argument Style East European Jews in Switzerland: New Perspectives on Modern Jewish History Safran, G. edited by Lewinsky, T., Mayoraz, S. Berlin: De Gruyter. 2013: 77–98
  • Literature, Authority, and Listening in Late Imperial Russia Russian Review Safran, G. 2013
  • The Jewish Dark Continent: Life and Death in the Russian Pale of Settlement (Book Review) AJS REVIEW-THE JOURNAL OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR JEWISH STUDIES Book Review Authored by: Safran, G. 2012; 36 (2): 354-357
  • Music from a Speeding Train: Jewish Literature in Post-Revolution Russia. (Book Review) SLAVIC REVIEW Book Review Authored by: Safran, G. 2012; 71 (2): 416-419
  • An-sky in Liozne: Sins of Youth and the Archival Diary Violence and Jewish Daily Life in the East European Borderlands: Essays in Honor of John D. Klier Safran, G. edited by Murav, H., Avrutin, E. Boston: Academic Studies Press. 2012: 67–82
  • Four English Pots and the Evolving Translatability of Sholem Aleichem Translating Sholem Aleichem: History, Politics, Art Safran, G. edited by Estraikh, G., Finkin, J., Hoge, K., Krutikov, M. Oxford: Legenda. 2012: 113–133
  • Exemplary Bodies: Constructing the Jew in Russian Culture, since the 1880s (Book Review) SLAVIC REVIEW Book Review Authored by: Safran, G. 2011; 70 (1): 214-215
  • Futur antérieur: L’avantgarde et le livre Yiddish (1914-1938) Slavic and East European Journal Safran, G. 2011: 135
  • Wandering Soul: The Life of S. An-sky Safran, G. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 2010
  • Photographing the Jewish Nation: Pictures from S. An-sky’s Ethnographic Expeditions Jewish Review of Books Safran, G. 2010
  • Reverse Marranism,’ Translatability, and the Theory and Practice of Secular Jewish Culture in Russian Jewish Literatures and Cultures: Context and Intertext Safran, G. edited by Norich, A., Eliav, Y. Providence: Brown University Press. 2008: 177–200
  • Lev Levanda The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jewish Life in Eastern Europe Safran, G. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2008
  • From Rebel to Rabbi: Reclaiming Jesus and the Making of Modern Jewish Culture American Historical Review Safran, G. 2008: 468- 469
  • Grigory Bogrov The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jewish Life in Eastern Europe Safran, G. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2008
  • The Enemy at his Pleasure: A Journey Through the Jewish Pale of Settlement During World War I Jewish Quarterly Review Safran, G. 2008; 91 (8): 132-134
  • S. An-sky The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jewish Life in Eastern Europe Safran, G. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2008
  • Osip Rabinovich The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jewish Life in Eastern Europe Safran, G. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2008
  • ‘One of the most magnificent moments in human history’: S. An-sky's Return to Russia in December 1905 Studies in Russian and Eastern European Literature, Society and Culture: In Honor of Tomas Venclova Safran, G. edited by Bird, R., Fleishman, L., Poljakov, F. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag. 2008: 325–332
  • Culture Front: Representing Jews in Eastern Europe, Safran, G. edited by Nathans, B., Safran, G. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 2008
  • Revolutionary Rabbis: Hasidic Legend and the Hero of Words Sacred Stories: Religion and Spirituality in Modern Russia Safran, G. edited by Steinberg, M. D., Coleman, H. J. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press. 2007: 276–303
  • ‘The Trace of a Falling Sun’: S. An-sky on Zionism and Apocalypse The Russian Word in the Land of Israel, the Jewish Word in Russia Safran, G. edited by Khazan, V., Moskovich, W. Jerusalem: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 2007: 317–337
  • Jews as Siberian natives: Primitivism and S. An-sky's 'Dybbuk' MODERNISM-MODERNITY Safran, G. 2006; 13 (4): 635-655
  • Out of the anthill: The Jewish autobiographer and the critics PROOFTEXTS-A JOURNAL OF JEWISH LITERARY HISTORY Safran, G. 2006; 26 (1-2): 282-294
  • Soviet and Kosher: Jewish Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 Jews in Russia and Eastern Europe Safran, G. 2006; 2 (57)
  • Stradaniia detsvta" (Childhood Suffering) and "Kniga" (The Book) An Anthology of Jewish-Russian Literature: Two Centuries of Dual Identity in Prose and Poetry Translated by Safran, G., Bogrov, G., An-sky, S. edited by Shrayer, M. D. Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, Inc.. 2006
  • Timeline: Semyon Akimovich An-sky/Shloyme-Zanvl Rappoport The Worlds of S. An-sky: A Russian Jewish Intellectual at the Turn of the Century Safran, G. 2006: xv-xxxii
  • Evrei kak aborigeny Sibiri: primitivism i p’esa S. An-skogo ‘Dibbuk,’ Russkoevreiskaia kul’tura Safran, G. edited by Budnitskii, O. V. Moscow: Rosspen. 2006: 269–301
  • The Jew and the Petersburg Myth: S. An-sky in 1892 The Worlds of S. An-sky: A Russian Jewish Intellectual at the Turn of the Century Safran, G. 2006: 53–82
  • The Worlds of S. An-sky: A Russian Jewish Intellectual at the Turn of the Century Safran, G. edited by Zipperstein, S., Safran, G. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2006
  • Yiddish and the creation of soviet Jewish culture, 1918-1930. (Book Review) AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW Book Review Authored by: Safran, G. 2005; 110 (3): 904-905
  • S. An-sky and Father Gapon: On the Russian Revolutionary Origins of The Dybbuk Word, Music, History: A Festschrift for Caryl Emerson Safran, G. 2005: 707–722
  • Fun Sh. An-skis togbukh Forverts Safran, G. 2005; 27: 12
  • Zrelishche krovoprolitia: S. An-skii na granitsakh Mirovoi krizis 1914-1920 godov i sud’ba vostochnoevropeiskogo evreistva Safran, G. edited by Budnitskii, O. V. Moscow: Rosspen. 2005: 302–317
  • Word, Music, History: A Festschrift for Caryl Emerson Safran, G. edited by Fleishman, L., Wachtel, M., Safran, G. Stanford: Stanford Slavic Studies. 2005
  • Al’bom evreiskoi khudozhestvennoi stariny Semena An-skogo/The Jewish Artistic Heritage Album Eastern European Jewish Affairs Safran, G. 2004
  • “Perepisat’ evreia”: Tema evreiskoi assimiliatsii v literature Rossiiskoi imperii (1870- 1880 gg) Safran, G. St. Petersburg: Akademicheskii proekt. 2004
  • To Reveal Our Hearts: Jewish Women Writers in Tsarist Russia Nashim Safran, G. 2004; 8
  • Semen An-skii i otets Georgii Gapon (o russkikh revoliutsionnykh korniakh p'esy Dybbuk Istoriia i kul'tura rossiiskogo i vostochnoevropeiskogo evreistva: novye istochniki, novye podkhody Safran, G. edited by Budnitskii, O. V. Moscow: Dom evreiskoi knigi. 2004: 309–323
  • Liubovnye pesnopeniia mezhdu sakral’nym i povsednevnym: Pushkinskie ‘Podrazhaniia’ v kontekste perevoda Biblii Pushkinskii sbornik Safran, G. edited by Loshchilov, I., Surat, I. Moscow: Tri kvadrata. 2004: 139–163
  • The Jewish Artistic Heritage Album by Semyon An-sky Eastern European Jewish Affairs Safran, G. 2004
  • Andrei Makine's literary bilingualism and the critics COMPARATIVE LITERATURE Safran, G. 2003; 55 (3): 246-265
  • The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage Common Knowledge Safran, G. 2003
  • Isaak Babel's Elya Isaakovich as a new Jewish type SLAVIC REVIEW Safran, G. 2002; 61 (2): 253-272
  • Nikolai Semenovich Leskov (M. Stebnitsky) Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 238: Russian Novelists in the Age of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky Safran, G. edited by Ogden, J. A., Kalb, J. E. San Francisco: The Gale Group. 2001: 160–175
  • Ethnography, Judaism, and the art of Nikolai Leskov RUSSIAN REVIEW Safran, G. 2000; 59 (2): 235-251
  • Dancing with death and salvaging Jewish culture in 'Austeria' and The 'Dybbuk' SLAVIC REVIEW Safran, G. 2000; 59 (4): 761-781
  • Rewriting the Jew: Assimilation Narratives in the Russian Empire Safran, G. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2000
  • Evangel'skii podtekst i evreiskaia drama vo 'Vladychnom sude' N. S. Leskova Evangel'skii tekst v russkoi literture XVIII-XX vekov: Tsitata, reministsensiia, motiv, siuzhet, zhanr Safran, G. Petrozavodsk, Russia: Izdatel'stvo petrozavodskogo universiteta. 1999: 462–470
  • LOVE SONGS BETWEEN THE SACRED AND THE VERNACULAR - PUSHKIN 'PODRAZHANIYA' IN THE CONTEXT OF BIBLE TRANSLATION SLAVIC AND EAST EUROPEAN JOURNAL Safran, G. 1995; 39 (2): 165-183