Dr. Rafi Tsirkin-Sadan

Russian literature and intellectual history, Hebrew literature, transnationalism and narratives of immigration.

Rafi Tsirkin-Sadan received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and served as the Stanley A. and Barbara B. Rabin Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University. His research interests include: Russian literature and intellectual history, Hebrew literature, literature and history, transnationalism and narratives of immigration. Rafi is the author of two books: Y.H. Brenner and Russian Literature (Bialik Institute, 2013), and Wandering Heroes, Committed Writers: Nihilists and Nihilism in Russian Literature (Van Leer/Hakibutz Hameuhad, forthcoming in 2015). Rafi will be a teaching fellow at the Russian Studies Program at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem during the academic year of 2014-2015.

Selected Publications


1. Jewish Letters in the Pushkin Library: Y. H. Brenner’s Work and Its Connection to Russian Literature and Thought [in Hebrew]. Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 2013.

2. Wandering Heroes, Committed Writers: Nihilist and Nihilism in Russian Literature [in Hebrew]. Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Ha-Kibbutz Ha-Meuhad [forthcoming].

Co-edited Books

3. Zionism As Seen from Without [in Hebrew], part of the series Selected Issues in the History of the Yishuv and the State of Israel. Co-edited with Ella Florsheim and Arie Dubnov. Bialik Institute, 2009.

Refereed Articles

4. “Y. H. Brenner’s Criticism and the Theory of Russian Realism” [in Hebrew]. Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature, Vol. 23, pp. 183-214.

5. “Theology and Politics in The Brothers Karamazov” [in Hebrew]. Zmanim, November 2011, special issue on Slavic Studies, pp. 52-65.

6. “Tolstoy, Zionism and the Hebrew Culture.” Tolstoy Studies Journal, volume XXIV, pp. 26-35.

7. “Between Marginal and Transnational: Post-Soviet Immigration in Hebrew Literature”, East European Jewish Affairs, special issue on Jewish migration (forthcoming)

8. “The East-West Dichotomy in Samson by Vladimir (Ze’ev) Zabotinsky”, Theory and Criticism, (under consideration)

Book Chapters

9. “Self-Evaluation by Means of Art: Brenner’s Reading of Belinsky” in Bounded Mind and Soul: Russia and Israel, 1880-2010, edited by Horowitz, Brian and Shai Ginsburg. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2013, pp. 97-107.

10. “Simon Dubnov’s Literary Criticism”, Volume in the honor of Israel Bartal, Zalman Shazar Insitute for the Jewish History (forthcoming)

Book Reviews

11. “Review of Leonid Livak’s The Jewish Persona in the European Imagination: A Case of Russian Literature.” Studies in Contemporary Jewry, vol 27. 328 – 330

Articles in Literary Journals

12. “Margins of Freedom: Joseph Brodsky’s Essayist Writing” [in Hebrew]. Kol Kore: Metula Poetry Festival Vol. 1, May 2013: 29-34.

Conference Talks

January 11-12, 2015 “East-West Dichotomy in Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Samson

Mediating Israeli and East-European History

Saitama University, Tokio

Dec 28-30, 2014 “Simon Dubnov as Literary Critic”

Making History Jewish, Conference in the Honor of Israel Bartal

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

June 24-26, 2014 “Brenner and Dostoevsky”

National Association of Professors of Hebrew Annual Conference

Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva

March 18, 2014 “Between Aesthetics and Politics: Reflections on Early Hebrew Criticism”


The Sapir College

October 15-19, 2012 “From Particular to Universal: Hebrew Literature by Post-Soviet Immigrants”

Russian Jewish Migration Across Borders, Across Time

Columbia University, New York

October 3-6, 2010 “Place, Language, and Belonging in Joseph Brodsky’s Essays”

In and Out of Place: Dynamics of Belonging, 2nd Annual German-Israeli Frontiers of Humanities Symposium (GISFOH 2010), Potsdam

March 6-7, 2010 “Brenner’s Literary Criticism and Theories of Russian Realism”

Colloquium: Perspectives on Brenner

Columbia University, New York

September 23, 2009 “Leo Tolstoy in the Hebrew Literature”

International Conference: Teach the Young According to Their Way: Trends in Late 19th-Early 20th Century Jewish Education, University College London

February 15-16, 2009 “Self Evaluation’ by means of art: Brenner Reading Belinskii”

International Conference: The Expanse of Russia in Israel, University of Tulane, New Orleans

Invited Lectures

May 8, 2015 “Jerusalem as a Site of Desire: The Cases of Yehuda Amihai and Uri Zvi Greenberg “

Guest Lecture, Sapir College

February 25, 2014 “Post-Colonial Readings of Samson by Ze’ev Zabotinsky”

Cherrick Center Annual Reception for Herzl Fellows

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

December 1, 2011 “The East-West Dichotomy in Russian Zionism”

Cherrick Center Forum for the Study of Zionism

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

April 27, 2010 “Y. H. Brenner’s Work and Russian Thought and Literature “

Guest Lecture at Cummings Center for Russian and East-European Studies Tel Aviv University

Public Talks

May 27, 2014 “From Leo Tolstoy to Meir Shalev: The Russian Novels of Hebrew Literature”

Katedra Lecture Series, Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv

December 1, 2014 “Between Jewish Renaissance and Russian Decadence: Literary Works by Zeev Jabotinsky”

Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Jerusalem

February 2014 Series of lectures: “Russian-Jewish Literature and Culture”

Zalman Shazar Center, Jerusalem

September 11, 2012 “Immigration and Modern Jewish Literature”

Columbia University Hillel, New York

December 18, 2011 “The Immigrant as a Critic, the Writer as an Immigrant,” Keynote Address

Literary Encounter on Immigration and Literature with the participation of

H.E. Mr. Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel

President of the State of Israel Residence, Jerusalem