Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
email@example.com Address and telephone number at home:
Jacob Polotsky, 21/9, Jerusalem, 9375617
B.A and M.A. (direct track), Lomonosov Moscow State University, Journalism and Communication Studies, Department of Sociology of Mass Media
Name of advisor: Dr. Anrie Vartanov
Title of thesis: Debates on Film Dramaturgy in the Journal “The Art of Cinema” Ph.D: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Humanities, Russian and Slavic Studies (approved in February 1996).
Name of advisors: Prof. Jonathan Frankel and Prof. Anatoly Khazanov
Title of thesis: Ethnic Samizdat and Ethnic Politics in the USSR • Employment History: November 2008 – present: Kameah Lecturer, Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
2007 – 2008: Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, Hebrew University
2003 – 2007: Giladi Lecturer, Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, Hebrew University
1998 – 2002: Lecturer-Researcher, Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, Hebrew University
Research Fellow (post doctorate), Peace and Conflict Studies Program, University of Toronto, Erindale College
1996 Visiting scholar, Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Toronto
1991-1995: Teaching Assistant, Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, Hebrew University
1990-1993: Researcher, Marjorie Mayrock Center for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Research, Hebrew University
Research Assistant, Mayrock Center for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Research, Hebrew University
• Professional Activities:
2013- present: Teaching Committee, Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
2011- 2013: Seminar Committee, Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
2009-2011: Library Committee, Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
2008 –present: Doctoral Guiding Committee, Department of International Relations, Hebrew University
2004 – 2008: Doctoral Guiding Committee, Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, Hebrew University
2005: Member, Organizing Committee, International Conference “Russian-Jewish Cultural Connections in the 20th century,” Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan
2000: Member, Organizing Committee (Moscow State University, Hebrew University, and Moscow Institute for Israeli Studies), First Moscow International Conference of Israeli Studies
2000-2001: Open University, Tel Aviv, Russian edition of the course Israel in the First Decade, 1948-1958, vols. 1-4, (scientific advisor)
1994-2001: Short Jewish Encyclopedia (in Russian), vols. 7-10 (scientific consultant)
2003-2004: Red Lines in Israeli Democracy – scientific consultant, educational multimedia program (in Hebrew and English)at the Yitzhak Rabin Youth Hostel (The Jerusalem Foundation Martha Prize for Tolerance and Democratic Values in Jerusalem).
Membership in professional/scientific societies
1990- 2005: Israeli Association of Slavic and East European Studies
2000-present: Association for the Study of Nationalities
2011- Israeli Political Science Association
• Educational activities COURSES TAUGHT AT BEN-GURION UNIVERSITY OF THE NEGEV
Ethno-Nationalism in Post-Soviet Societies (seminar, BA)
Russia’s Women: Between Tradition and Revolution (BA)
Russia and the European Union: Common spaces and Hindrance to Partnership (BA)
FSU Immigrant Communities in Politics and Civil Society of Israel (seminar, BA)
Self-determination, Ethno-nationalism, and Conflicts in the USSR and the Post-Soviet States (BA)
COURSES TAUGHT AT THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM
Ethnic groups and Cultures in Russia (BA)
Dissent in the USSR (BA)
Jewish Women in Late Imperial Russia (BA)
Women in Russia: from Patriarchy to Emancipation (BA)
Ways and Paradoxes of Russian Feminism (MA)
The Rise of the Civil Society in the USSR (MA)
Ethnopolitics in the USSR (MA)
Law and Politics in the USSR (BA)
USSR in Crisis (BA, taught jointly with Dr. Zeev Wolfson )
• Awards, Citations, Honors, Fellowships 1990-1992: Lev Zion Doctoral Scholarship, Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
1991: Golda Meir Award, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
1993: Leah Goldberg Scholarship, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
1995-1996: The Herzl Fellowship, Bernard Cherrick Center for the Study of Zionism, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
1996: CREES (Centre for Russian and East European Studies), University of Toronto, visiting scholar fellowship
1996-1997: Peace and Conflict Studies Program fellowship (hosting professor – Metta Spencer), University of Toronto, Erindale College
• Scientific Publications Authored books
D. Zisserman-Brodsky, Constructing Ethnopolitics in the Soviet Union: Deprivation and the Rise of Ethnic Nationalism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003 (288 pages).
Published reviews: Donald Schwartz// Nationalism & Ethnic Politics; Winter2005, Vol. 11, 4:541-43; Gaziyev, Jamshid // Europe-Asia Studies; Nov2004, Vol. 56, 7:1093-94; Andrei P. Tsygankov // Slavic Review, 2005, vol. 64, 3:675; Natalia daragan, Vremia Iskat’, no. 12, 2005 (in Russian);Stanley G. Paine//“EL NACIONALISMO Y EL COLAPSO DE LA UNIÓN SOVIÉTICA (in Spanish),” Revista de libros No 100, 31/3/2005; Steven Sabol // The Russian Review, 2006, vol. 65, 2:342-43; Geoffrey Hosking // Democratization, Jun2004, Vol. 11, 3:175; VictorMote//Canadian American Slavic Studies - Revue Canadienne Americaine d'Etudes Slaves, 2008, vol. 42, 1:214-216;
2. J. Goldstein (chapters 1.1-1.7) and Zisserman-Brodsky, D. (chapters 1.8-1.13), Еврейскоенациональноедвижение: предпосылкииисторическийфон//The Growth of the Zionist Movement: Factors and Background. Историясионистскогодвижения: 1881-1914// History of Zionist Movement, 1881-1914, vol. 1.Tel Aviv: The Open University, 2004 (194 pages, in Russian).
3. L. Praisman, D.Zisserman-Brodsky, D. Charny, G. Kazovsky, S. Baranovsky, I. Altman, A. Khazanov, V. Petrukhin, M. Kipnis, ИсторияевреевРоссии//History of Jews in Russia), Moscow: Lechaim, 2005; 2nd edition - Moscow: Lechaim, 2007, 725 pages [chapters 6, 14, 15, 17: “The Great Reforms of Alexander the Second and Jews” (pp. 169-199), “Jews in the USSR in 1945-1953” (556-599), “Jews in the USSR in 1967-1985” (pp. 615-648), “Jews in the Years of Perestroika: 1985-1991” (pp. 649-664)].
1. L. Cohen, D. Zisserman-Brodsky (editors),ОтБазелякИерусалиму, отидеологиикпрактике//From Basel to Jerusalem – From Ideology to Practice (in Russian). Midreshet Har Herzl, The World Zionist Histadrut, Jerusalem, 1995 (65 pages).
2.D. Zisserman-Brodsky (ed.), Историясионистскогодвижения: 1881-1914// History of Zionist Movement, 1881-1914 (in Russian). Tel Aviv: The Open University. Vol. 1 (units 1-2), 2004 (350 pages).
3.D. Zisserman-Brodsky (ed.),Историясионистскогодвижения: 1881-1914// History of Zionist Movement, 1881-1914 (in Russian). Tel Aviv: The Open University. Vol. 2 (units 3-4), 2006 (336 pages).
4. D. Zisserman-Brodsky (ed.), Историясионистскогодвижения: 1881-1914// History of Zionist Movement, 1881-1914 (in Russian). Tel Aviv: The Open University. Vol. 3 (units 5-6), 2006.
5. D. Zisserman-Brodsky (ed.), Историясионистскогодвижения: 1881-1914// History of Zionist Movement, 1881-1914 (in Russian). Tel Aviv: The Open University. Vol.4 (units 7-8), 2006 (224 pages).
Chapters in collective volumes 1. V. Kogan-Iasnyi and D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “Chechen Separatism”, in M. Spencer (ed.), Separatism: Democracy and Disintegration, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1998, pp. 205-226.
2. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “Квопросуогенезисесионизма”// "Examining the origins of Zionism".In O.Budnitsky, R. Kaplanov. A.Lokshin, V. Mochalova, D, Rubina (eds.), Российский сионизм: история и культура. Материалы научной конференции//The Russian Zionism: History and Culture, [Conference papers, in Russian] Moscow: The Jewish Book House, 2002, pp. 15-27.
3. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “Изменения в израильском обществе и их влияние на развитие концепции прав человека в стране”// “Social Change and an Evolution of the Concept of Human Rights in Israel.” In A. Epstein and A. Fedorchenko (eds.), ОбществоиполитикасовременногоИзраиля//Society and Politicsof ContemporaryIsrael, vol. 2, [Conference papers, in Russian], The Hebrew University of Jerusalem – The Open University, Israel, International Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization: Gesharim, 2002, pp. 94-120.
4. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “Наша программа”//“Our Program” in СионистскоедвижениепослесмертиГерцля//Zionist Movement after the Death of Herzl (in Russian). Tel Aviv: The Open University. Vol. 2 (unit 3), 2006, pp. 236-247.
Refereed articles and refereed letters in scientific journals 1. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “The Politicization of the Environmental Issue within National Movements in the USSR,” Environment Policy Review, vol. 4, no. 2, 1990, pp. 19-26.
2. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “Sources of Ethnic Politics in the Soviet Polity: The Pre-Perestroika Dimension.” Nationalities Papers, vol. 22, no. 2, 1994, pp. 337-345.
3. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “The Politicization of the Environmental Issue within the Russian Nationalistic Movement”. Nationalities Papers, vol. 26, no. 4, 1998, pp. 677-686.
4. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “The Jews of Silence – the “Jews of Hope” – the “Jews of Triumph”: Revisiting Methodological Approach to the Study of the Jewish Movement in the USSR, Nationalities Papers, vol.33, no. 1, 2005, pp.121-140.
Unrefereed professional articles and publications 1. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, "Israel: Is Peace Still Possible?” Peace Magazine, Sept.-Oct., 1996, pp. 23-26.
2. J. Santa Barbara, D. Zisserman-Brodsky, et al., "The Great Cuba Debate,"Peace Magazine, May-June, 1997, pp. 5-9.
3. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “Еврейские этнические общины в Советском Союзе“//“Jewish Ethnic Communities in the USSR”, Otsy i deti, no.33, 1999, 23-27 [in Russian].
4. D. Zisserman-Brodsky “Юриспруденция”//"Jurisprudence” (paragraph on Israel), Краткаяеврейскаяэнциклопедия//Short Jewish Encyclopaedia [in Russian], vol. 10, 2001, p. 860.
5. D. Zisserman,ПравачеловекавИзраиле//The Human Rights in Israel.Te’ena, Jerusalem, 2001 (15 pages); the first edition in 1998 (in Russian).
D. Zisserman-Brodsky,ВерховныйсудИзраиляипубличнаядискуссияоегофункциях//The High Court of Justice in the Israeli Political Discourse,Te’ena, Jerusalem, 2000, 15 (pages) (in Russian).
6. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, The Arab citizens of Israel, Te’ena, Jerusalem, 2002, 15 pages.
D. Zisserman-Brodsky, Review of Doubly Chosen, by J. Deutsch Kornblatt. Studies in Contemporary Jewry, vol. 22, 2008.
D. Zisserman-Brodsky, Review of Lenin’s Jewish Question by Y, Petrovsky-Shtern. The Russian Review, vol. 70, no. 3, July 2011.
D. Zisserman-Brodsky, Review of Cultures of Power in Post-Communist Russia: An Analysis of Elite Political Discourse by M. Urban, Nationalities Papers, vol. 40, no. 6, 2012.
Political analysis of the Soviet/CIS and East European press published by the Marjorie Mayrock Center for Russian, Euro-Asian and East-European Research (The Hebrew University) Soviet Union and the Middle East (1991):
1. Vol. 16, no. 4, 1991, Middle East Settlement.
2. Vol. 16, No. 5, 1991, Ethiopia.
3. Vol. 16, No. 5, 1991, Afghanistan.
4. Vol. 16, No. 6, 1991, Israel.
5. Vol. 16, No. 7, 1991, Ethiopia.
6. Vol. 16, No. 1991, Israel.
7. Vol. 16, No. 8, 1991, Turkey.
8. Vol. 16, No. 8,1991, Israel.
9. Vol. 16, No. 9, 1991, Israel.
10. Vol. 16, No. 9, Israel.
11. Vol. 16, No. 10, 1991, Israel.
12. Vol. 16, No. 11, 1991, Israel.
13. Vol. 16, No. 12, 1991, Afghanistan.
Commonwealth of Independent States and the Middle East (1992-1993)
14. Vol. 17, No. 1, 1992, Israel.
15. Vol. 17, No. 2, 1992, Israel.
16. Vol. 17, No. 3, 1992, Israel.
17. Vol. 17, No. 4, 1992, Israel.
18. Vol. 17,No. 6, 1992, CIS Jewry.
19. Vol. 17,No. 6, 1992, Anti-Semitism.
20. Vol. 17,No. 6, 1992, Israel.
21. Vol. 17, No. 7, 1992, Israel.
22. Vol. 17, No. 8, 1992, Israel.
23 . Vol. 17, No. 9, 1992, Israel.
24. Vol.17, No. 10, 1992, Israel.
25. Vol. 17, No. 12, 1992, Israel.
26. Vol. 17, No. 11, 1992, Israel.
27. Vol. 18, No. 7, 1993, Middle East Settlement.
28. Vol. 18, No. 12, 1993, Persian Gulf.
29. Vol. 18, No. 12, 1993, Egypt.
• Lectures and Presentations at Meetings and Invited Seminars not Followed by Published Proceedings
Invited plenary lectures
D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “Ethnic Dissent, Samizdat and Their Contribution to the Reemergence of Nationalism.” February 9, 1996, Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Toronto (Ref. : Abstract by Mirella Eberts, Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Toronto: Monthly Centre News, volume 1996, March 1996, pp. 3-4).
Presentation of papers at conferences
1. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “Political behavior of the Russian-Speaking Immigrant Community in Israel.”Annual Conference of the Israel Political Science Association, April 2011, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. [Ref.: http://in.bgu.ac.il/Pages/events/ispsa2011.aspx]
2. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “Ordeal of Affinity: Towards Understanding Political Behavior of the Russian-Speaking Community in Israel.” 16th Annual World Convention of ASN (Association for the Study of Nationalities), April 2011, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York. [Ref.: www.nationalities.org/convention/pdfs/ASN-2011-final-program-April.pdf]
3. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “The Prospects for Democratization of Post-Putin Russia.” 15th Annual World Convention of ASN (Association for the Study of Nationalities), April 2010, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York. [Ref.:www.nationalities.org/convention/pdfs/ASN_2010_Final_program-April.pdf]
4. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “Violence in Chechnya” (discussant). 15th Annual World Convention of ASN (Association for the Study of Nationalities), April 2010, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York.
6. D. Zisserman-Brodsky,“Methodological and Conceptual Issues in the Study of the Jewish Movement in the USSR.” The Second International Conference “Russian Literature and World Literatures,” March 2006, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan [Ref.: http://berkovich-zametki.com/Guestbook/guestbook_mar2006_1.html].
7. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “Conceptualizing Ethnonationalism: Inter-Group Comparison in Structuring Perceptions and Interpretations of Relative Deprivation.” 10th World Convention of ASN (Association for the Study of Nationalities), April 2005, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York.
8. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “Russian-Jewish Woman at the Crossroad of Cultures and Epochs.” International Conference “Russian-Jewish Cultural Connections in the 20th Century,” January 2005, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan [Ref.: http://vestnik.rsuh.ru/article.html?id=54898].
9. D. Zisserman, “עולי ברה"מ במבחן התרבות הפוליטית הישראלית”//“New Immigrants from the USSR and Israeli Political Culture.” Conference “‘Israeliness’ and ‘Russianness’: A Meeting of Cultures,” June 2002, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv [Ref.: http://humanities.tau.ac.il/zionism/index.php/events]
10. D. Zisserman-Brodsky,“‘From Zion to Zionism’: The Course for Russian-Speaking Students.” International Conference “Centers of the Russian Zionism: History and Culture,” October 2001, Center for Scientists and Teachers of Judaica in the Institutions.of Higher Education “Sefer” and the Jewish Agency, Moscow
11. D. Zisserman-Brodsky,"Development of the conception of Human Rights in Israel."
The First Moscow International Conference of Israeli Studies: “Society, Politics and Culture of Contemporary Israel,” September 2000, Moscow State University, Hebrew University, the Open University of Israel, and Moscow Institute for Israeli Studies [Ref.: http://www-r.openu.ac.il/events/konf2000.html].
12. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, "Russian Conspiracy as a New Jewish Idea. Some Reflections on Contextually Motivated Value Orientations and Universalism of Symbolic Images in Ethnonationalist Ideologies.” 5th Annual World Convention of ASN (Association for the Study of Nationalities), April 2000, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York.
13. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, "Ethnocentrism in the Nationalist Movements in the USSR and CIS." International Conference “Extremism and Nationalism in Europe: Fifty Years after World War II,” April 1995, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
14. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “In Quest of a New Nationality Policy." International Conference “Changing the System: Reform in Russia and the Soviet Union,” January 1994, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
15. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, "Sources of the Ethnic Politics in the USSR. "International Conference “Soviet Society in Turmoil,” January 1992, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
16. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, "The Politicization of the Environmental Issues within the National Movements in the USSR." International Conference “Environmental Problems and National Tensions in the Soviet Union,” January 1990, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
17. D. Zisserman-Brodsky, "Women in the Peace Movement." International Conference “Women of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union,” January 1987, Hebrew University, Jerusalem (Ref.: M. Kretzmer's review of the presentation: "Women Peaceniks," Jerusalem Post, 2.2.87).
Seminar presentations at universities and institutions
D. Zisserman-Brodsky, “The Jewish Movement in the USSR,” May 1996. Bernard Cherrick Center for the Study of Zionism, the Yishuv and the History of Israel, Institute of the Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University.
• Research Grants D. Zisserman-Brodsky, Research Grant, “Jewish Women in Late Imperial Russia as Agents of Modernity.” The Leonid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and Eastern European Jewry, 2004-2005.
• Synopsis of research, including reference to publications and grants in above lists
After my graduation from the Moscow State University, in 1975 (my MA thesis was on Debates on Film Dramaturgy in the Journal “The Art of Cinema”) I started my studies towards PhD at the Academy of Science Art History Institute in Moscow (the Sector of Aesthetic Problems of Mass Communications). My topic was a comparative study of the concept of mass culture in the thought of Walter Benjamin and Siegfried Kracauer. A paper in which I examined Kracauer’s methodological approach in exploring the connections between the aesthetics of film, the prevailing psychological state of the German collectivity in the Weimar era, and the evolving social and political reality of the time was presented by me at Institute’s seminar. At that time, Kracauer’s major works (published in German and English) had not been translated into Russian and were virtually unknown to Soviet researchers. I consider as extremely useful Kracauer’s theory that the "persistent reiteration" of pictorial and narrative motifs in films (both popular and elitist, both aesthetically “good” and “bad”) and other products of mass culture "marks them as outward projections of inner urges" and as an emblematic reflection of collective perceptions and propensities. In my later research on the ideologies and politics of the dissident ethnonationalist movements in the USSR I employed his methodological approach albeit in a modified form.
Soon after my immigration to Israel, I started work on my PhD thesis “Ethnic Samizdat and Ethnic Politics in the USSR” under the supervision of Prof. Jonathan Frankel and Prof. Anatoly Khazanov. The choice of subject and my subsequent findings were somewhat discordant in the scholarly discourse of that time. The Soviet regime was still generally presumed to be stable, while the nationalities and the national were not considered the predominant political factor. As for dissent in general and ethnic dissent in particular, it was commonly regarded as playing a minor, if any, role in ideological and political developments in the USSR. (The fact that I was personally involved in the movement for civil rights in the Soviet Union and in the production of samizdat materials doubtless provided me with a distinctive perspective).My research investigated the rise and development of ethnic dissent, samizdat and their contribution to the reemergence of nationalism as a political force in the USSR. It was the first systematic comparative study of ethnonationalist ideologies developed in the period from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s. Exploring dissident writings of diverse ethnic groups in the former Soviet Union through a close examination of various theories of nationalism my study bridges macro-theory with micro- and meso-politics. Focusing on the ways of mobilizing the nationalities in the USSR I tried to fill an epistemological gap by showing how the ethno-nationalist movements of the Soviet era helped to formulate programs of ethnopolitics. The newly emerged national movements played a key role in the eventual fall of the Communist regime and their programs were later adopted in many of the new states that seceded from the USSR.
From 1990-1993, I was a part of the Marjorie Mayrock Center for Soviet and East European Research Project dealing with news analysis of the CIS (Soviet) and East European press. As a member of the contributing staff of a monthly Commonwealth of Independent States and the Middle East (before 1992 - Soviet Unionand the Middle East) I have contributed about 30 articles focusing primarily on the Soviet press coverage of Soviet Jewry and Antisemitism, Israel and Middle East Settlement (see the List of Publications).
Since 1990 I have presented the results of my broader research on ethnopolitics and ethnonationalism in a number of publications including Nationalities Papers and the Environment Policy Review; in edited volumes; as well as in my monographic book Constructing Ethnopolitics in the USSR: Samizdat, Deprivation and the Rise of Ethnic Nationalism, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003 .
My major academic focus for research is on investigating ethnopolitics, collective perceptions and the proclivities of ethnic groups. To a considerable degree, this interest has determined the direction (or sub-direction) of my research, which deals with the history and theory of Jewish nationalism focusing on the Jewish national revival in Russia/the USSR. I have presented the results of my work in the book co-authored with Prof. J. Goldstein The Growth of the Zionist Movement: Factors and Background (Tel Aviv: The Open University, 2004); in History of Jews in Russia (co-authored with L. Praisman et al. 2007; 2005) , in chapters of edited volumes (see the List of Publications); as well as in the article “The “Jews of Silence”—the “Jews of Hope”— the “Jews of Triumph”: Revisiting Methodological Approaches to the Study of the Jewish Movement in the USSR” published in Nationalities Papers (Volume 33, No 1, March 2005). I regard the latter article as contributing to the study of the Jewish movement in the USSR since it recasts two standard methodological approaches (shaped by “Zionist” and “totalitarian” narrative models) to the study of the Jewish movement in the USSR. I discuss the interaction between the transformed norms, grassroots activism, governmental policy, and decision making, paying particular attention to the ways that collective sentiment was translated into the public domain. I argue that opposition to the existing political order, as well as well as the “de-privatization” of nationalist sentiment constituted important determinants of the Jewish movement that emerged in the late 1960s, whereas during the 1940–1950s both of these fundamental elements characterizing nationalist movements were almost absent. I also argue that the rationale for a translation or non-translation of a personal or collective sentiment into the public space can be found in the sociopolitical and cultural feasibility of a projected movement. I propose to analyze the Jewish movement in the USSR as social process (namely, to integrate the concepts of ideology, belief, ritual, symbol, myth, and language into a framework for analysis of the movement), as well as to examine the Jewish movement’s narrative(s)—its origins, development, and transformation (since its very beginning in the late 1960s this movement has been documenting and interpreting its own history and developing various forms of memorialization).
Some of the concepts and methods proposed in the article are included into project on Jewish Women in late Imperial Russia as Agents of Modernity (The Nevzlin’s Center research grant). This project is designed to examine the specific position of Russian-Jewish women within the broader context of societal developments not only in their country of birth but also as émigrés and emigrants. The study is to cover the period from the beginning of the Era of Great reforms (1855) to the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917. I am investigating the role, function and motivations of Jewish women as both individuals and as an ethnocultural community within the process of social change. Focusing on the discourse between gender and ethnic identity the study will explore the changing role of Jewish women in the family, within and outside the Jewish community, in the educational, professional an economic spheres, as well as in culture and politics. Particular attention is paid to the interplay between social, political, national and cultural struggles experienced by Jewish women in Russia and their struggle for gender equality and emancipation as women. The research is based primarily on two qualitative methods –the historical analysis of a single case and comparative historical analysis. In addition, the analysis of texts and images is also being used. Of the quantitative methods the research uses social network models to examine the relationship between power and position in a social structure and to address the questions of social and ethno-cultural identity. Network tools provide analytic solutions to the multiple social relations in which Russian Jewish women were embedded. The results of my research have been presented in the paper “Russian-Jewish Woman at the Crossroad of Cultures and Epochs” at the international conference “Russian-Jewish Cultural Connections in the 20th Century” (January 10-12, 2005, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan).
My recent study on cultural sensitivity in biographical research is partly based on the “Jewish Women…” project. Using biographical writings on Dr. Sabina Spielrein as a case study, the research seeks to demonstrate the imperative need for cultural sensitivity in conducting biographical research. Cultural sensitivity is referred to as knowing the cultural context of the group with whom the researchers wish to work combined with tangible capacity to reinstate socio-cultural historical contexts in their role of dialogical backgrounds for oral and written texts. Juxtaposing the biographical (and autobiographical) texts that describe the life of prominent psychoanalyst Sabina Spielrein against the socio-cultural contexts of her time (particularly, against Spielrein’s Russian and Jewish background which has shaped her experiences and writings) I identify common misperceptions and misinterpretations of Spielrein’s statements and address some epistemic quandaries derived from mutually constitutive dialogical relationships between text and context. The study demonstrates that the misuse of socio-cultural and historical contexts transforms considerably the presentation and interpretation of subject’s biography. In most cases the epistemic distortions have resulted either from the non-detection of a dialogical context or from the context commutation (substitution of the relevant dialogical contexts for chronologically, sociologically or/and culturally unrelated ones). An article “‘The ‘Russian Peculiarities’ of the Jewish Woman from Rostov-on-Don: Dr. Sabina Spielrein and the Problem of Cultural Sensitivity in Biographical Research” ” has been submitted to Slavic Review and approved by two readers (currently I am updating it for final approval).
My current research project deals with the immediate prospects for democratization in Russia. Examining human rights as both discursive and social practices this study attempts to assess the chances for democratization in Post–Putin Russia. I consider any social effect as shaped by the interplay of social and discursive practices. Is there popular support and understanding of the idea of human rights and human rights activists? What are the basic perceptions of and attitudes to human rights among political and economic elites (including the president himself) and molders of public opinion (journalists, columnists, writers, scholars, etc.)? What is the impact of the recent amendments introduced into the civil procedural law on the protection of human rights? Progressive retreat from democracy in Russia can be cited as one the most striking confirmations of the assumption that a political order requires compatible orientations among its people. Based on empirical data Inglehart and Welzel demonstrate that “during the global wave of democratization, those countries in which mass aspirations for democracy exceeded the extent to which democratic institutions actually existed around 1990, subsequently made the greatest progress in democratization; while those countries in which the supply of democracy exceeded the level of mass aspirations for democracy, actually tended to become less democratic during the subsequent decade.” The public opinion surveys systematically indicate strong preferences assigned by the Russian public to modern materialist values in conjunction with a deep distrust and suspicion of democracy, its institutions, and emancipative values. These surveys corroborate a conclusion of Welzel and Inglehart’s study that when emancipative values are weak people tend to give priority to authority and strong leadership over freedom and mass participation, and to justify excessive deployment of executive power in the name of public order and national unity or security.
Modernization, diversification of economy and fighting corruption are viewed by the Russian public as the most important measures to be implemented in Russia. An important conclusion of Welzel and Inglehart’s study is that only “people who are inspired by emancipative values are motivated to struggle for democratic institutions.” Emancipative values are very week in contemporary Russia. In this respect, the general Russian population, the molders of public opinion and Russian political and economic elites are barely different from their authoritarian government. Emancipative mass beliefs are acquired as a result of the continuing, sometimes mutually contradictory, but always mutually constitutive interactions between discursive and non-discursive practices. In contemporary Russia these practices complement, reinforce each other and are intertwined. Neither discursive, nor material practices indicate the feasibility of fast reorientation toward emancipative values as a potential source of democratizing pressures. The results of this research have been presented at the 15th Annual World Convention of ASN (Association for the Study of Nationalities), April 2010. Currently I am finishing the final editing of the article for submission to a peer reviewed journal.
I am involved in a collaborative project jointly with Prof. Olga Medvedkow, Wittenberg University about the Russian-Speaking Immigrants: Long-Distance Nationalism. The research, which is on its initial stages, explores the rise of so-called long-distance or diasporic nationalism in the Russian-speaking immigrant communities, namely: the internal and external factors in the rise of diasporic nationalism; the formation of identity and community mobilization; the restructuring of ethnocultural identities and loyalties; long-distance nationalism as a form of political accommodation by immigrant communities to the host societies, and the interplay between socio-economic, cultural-linguistic, political and legal factors. Believing that relative deprivation (RD) theory is a valuable explanatory vehicle in the area of ethnopolitical studies we are trying to utilize the most recent empirical findings in the field of social psychology based on that theory. Building explanatory models of long-distance nationalism we integrate RD theory with other related social theories such as social comparison theory, social identity theory, distributive justice theory and social network theory. LouisAlthusser's theory of interpellation, as well as its further developments and modifications proposed by Foucault, Butler, Laclau Another relevant theory is the second explanatory vehicle.The study analyzes a series of political, popular and sub-cultural discourses that circulate in the Russian-speaking community providing discursive terrain through which this community has been subjectivated- re-subjectivated.
The theoretical framework and first results of my research were presented by me at the 2005 World Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (Columbia University, New York). The paper evaluated the role of social and temporal comparison processes in shaping the collective perceptions of relative deprivation and the collective interpretations of the perceived deprivation. I there argued that the competitive downward comparison made by a relatively advantaged group can result in its ethnonationalist mobilization. Further results on this subject were reported in my papers presented at the 2011 Annual World Convention of ASN (Association for the Study of Nationalities) and the 2011 Annual Conference of the Israel Political Science Association.
• Present Academic Activities
Research in progress
Subject: The Russian-Speaking Immigrants: Long-Distance Nationalism
Other participants: Prof. Olga Medvedkow, Wittenberg University
Expected date of completion: 2013
Books and articles to be published
“The Prospects for Democratization of Contemporary Russia”
Submitted for publication:
The ‘Russian Peculiarities’ of the Jewish Woman from Rostov-on-Don: Dr. Sabina Spielrein and the Problem of Cultural Sensitivity in Biographical Research” (submitted to Nationalities Papers )
“Ordeal of Affinity: Towards Understanding Political Behavior of the Russian-Speaking Community in Israel” (International Journal of Politics , Culture and Society)/