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Gabriella Safran, a professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, has written extensively on Russian, Polish, Yiddish and French literature. Safran is an expert on the Russian and Yiddish writer, revolutionary leader, and ethnographer, S. An-sky. In 2010 she published his biography, Wandering Soul: The Dybbuk's Creator, S. An-sky, (Harvard University Press).

Safran is also 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 Literatures in 2001.

Safran came to Stanford in 1998 and has taught courses on Slavic and Jewish culture and literature. Currently, she is also teaching and writing on folklore theory. She has two current projects underway: one on late imperial Russian and Yiddish literature and the history of listening, and another on Russian-Jewish revolutionary speech culture.

Safran is the Chair of the Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages at Stanford (DLCL), which has interested her in the reorganization of humanities departments and its subsequent implications for teaching and scholarship.


Key works

Harvard University Press, 2010

Eds. Gabriella Safran and Benjamin Nathans, Culture Front: Representing Jews in Eastern Europe (Jewish Culture and Contexts). University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007

"Revolutionary Rabbis: S. An-sky, Hasidic Legend and the Hero of Words after 1905," in Sacred Stories: Religion and Spirituality in Modern Russian Culture, ed. Mark Steinberg and Heather Coleman. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 2007

"Jews and Siberian Natives: Primitivism and S. An-sky's Dybbuk." Modernism/modernsity, No. 13 (2006)

With Steven J. Ziiperstein, The Worlds of A. An-sky: A Russian Jewish Intellectual at the Turn of the Century. Stanford University Press, 2006

"Andrei Makine's Literary Bilingualism and the Critics." Comparative Literature, No. 55 (2003)

"Isaak Babel's El'ia Isaakovich as a New Jewish Type." Slavic Review, No. 61 (2002)

Rewriting the Jew: Assimiliation Narratives in the Russian Empire. Stanford University Press, 2001

"Dancing with Death and Salvaging Jewish Culture in Austeria and The Dybbuk." Slavic Review, No. 59 (2000)

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

"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, pp. 165-183 (Summer 1995)

Prof. Safran in the News

June 13, 2016
Gabriella Safran, the 2015-16 Ellen Andrews Wright Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center, is...
January 11, 2011
Harvard University Press Blog, January 11, 2011
November 16, 2010
Tablet Magazine, November 16, 2010
March 18, 2005
The Jewish Daily Forward, March 18, 2005
December 22, 1995
J.Weekly December 22, 1995

Audio and Video

Yiddish Culture Festival, February, 2010


  • Folklore (History and Theory)
  • Jewish Studies
  • Polish Literature
  • Realism
  • Russian Literature
  • Yiddish Literature

Contact information

Building 260, Rm 109


DLCL Profile


Ph.D., Princeton University (1998)
B.A., Yale University (1990)