Gabriella Safran

Eva Chernov Lokey Professor in Jewish Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Senior Associate Dean (SAD) for Humanities and Arts in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University
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Dissertation: "Narratives of Jewish acculturation in the Ru

1. Why did you choose Russian culture for your profession?

Initially, because I found the Soviet Union and its utopian thought fascinating. And being in school in the Gorbachev period, it was exhilarating to see the country change and open up.

2. What was your brightest recollection from your graduate student’s years?

I loved my seminars with Caryl and Michael and the feeling of connection to the other grad students. Since I was in the second class after the program reopened, we had the sense of being on the ground floor, inventing the program along with the faculty.

3. What literary work (or any work of art) would you like to recommend to a newcomer who is interested in Russia as the key to the culture?

Gogol's "The Nose."

4. What are you currently working on?

I am finishing a monograph about listening and the use of other people's words in mid-19th-century writing about the Russian Empire. I am hoping soon to start a new project about humor and Jewish speech style. Also, I do a lot of administrative work!