Ph.D. — University of Chicago, 1999
M.A. — Ohio State University, 1991
B.A. — Sofia University, 1987
Interests and Research
Valentina Izmirlieva is a scholar of Balkan and Russian religious cultures with a strong background in critical theory and intellectual history. Two areas of specialization represent the scope of her teaching interests: the religious culture of the Orthodox Slavs with an emphasis on the medieval and early modern periods, and literary Modernism and Postmodernism with a focus on Vladimir Nabokov. Much of her research addresses cultural transfers among Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the context of multi-religious empires.
The Muslim and the Christian in Balkan Narratives; Religion in Russia: Culture, History, Institutions; Old Russian Literature I: The Making of Old Rus’; Old Russian Literature II: On the Verge of Modernity; Orthodoxy, Text, Ritual; Magical Mystery Tour: The Legacy of Old Rus’; Proseminar in Literary Theory and Method; The Lolita Phenomenon; Acmeism; Russian Symbolist Poetry; Literature and Ideology: Balkan Modernism and Postmodernism.
Fellowships and Grants
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers of the New York Public Library, 2012-2013
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, Summer Mediterranean Institute, Barcelona, Spain, 2012
Harriman Seed Grant, 2010-2011
National Council for East European and Eurasian Research — Title VIII National Research Competition Grant, 2009-2011
Howard Foundation Fellowship in History, 2009-2010
Erasmus Institute Fellowship, Summer Faculty Seminar, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, 2003
Junior Fellowship, Institute for Advanced Study of Religion, The University of Chicago, 1998-1999
Whiting Dissertation Fellowship, 1991-1997.
Century Fellowship, The University of Chicago, 1991-1995
Fulbright Scholarship, 1990-1995
• All the Names of the Lord: Lists, Mysticism, and Magic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
• (co-ed. with Boris Gasparov) Translation and Tradition in Slavia Orthodoxa. Series Slavische Sprachgeschichte 5. Vienna, Austria: Lit Verlag, 2012.
• “The Title Hajji and the Ottoman Vocabulary of Pilgrimage,” Modern Greek Studies Yearbook (forthcoming).
• “Christian Hajjis—The Other Orthodox Pilgrims to Jerusalem,” Slavic Review (forthcoming).
• “The 72 Names of The Lord: Translation, Transliteration and Religious Hybridization.” In Translation and Tradition in Slavia Orthodoxa, Valentina Izmirlieva and Boris Gasparov, eds. Vienna, Austria: 2012, 46-65 (in Russian).
• “Typography and Magic on the Threshold of Modern Europe: Printed Amulets between the Apennines and the Balkans,” Starobulgarska literatura, 41/42 (2009): 453-65 (in Bulgarian).
• “Orthodox Widows: The Burden and Power of Charisma.” In Women and the Orthodox Church: Past Roles, Future Paradigms. Ed. Justin Marc Lasser. The Sophia Institute. Studies of Orthodox Theology, vol. 1, New York: Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, 2009, 65-81.
• “The Peculiar Codex Jerusalem 22: Tracing the Slavic Kabbalah.” In Jews and Slavs. Vol. 20. The Holy Land and the Manuscript Legacy of the Slavs. Jerusalem and Sofia: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and The Cyrillo-Methodian Research Center, 2008, 87-108.
• “Nabokov and Casanova, or Lolita and Zaïre.” In Poetics. Self. Place: Essays in Honor of Lisa Crone. Eds. Nicole Boudreau, Sarah Krive, and Catherine O'Neil. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2007, 630-647.
• “From Babel to Christ and Beyond: The Number 72 in Christian Political Symbolism.” Starobulgarska literatura, 35/36 (2006): 3-21.
• “Augustine Divided: A Response to David Tracy.” In Erotikon: Essays on Eros, Ancient and Modern. Eds. Shadi Bartsch and Thomas Bartscherer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005, 107-112.
• “The Aetiology of the Seventy-Two Diseases: Investigating a Byzantino-Slavic False Prayer." Byzantinoslavica,59/1 (1998): 181-195.
• “Auf den Spuren einer hypothetischen hagiographischen Gattung im Werk des Evtimij von Turnovo.” In Gattungen und Genologie der slavisch-orthodoxen Literaturen des Mittelalters. Ed. Klaus - Dieter Seemann. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1992, 43-62.
• (with Petko Ivanov) “The Saint of Sushitsa. Parts 1-3. Folk Vita— Folk Legends— Sainthood in Folk Context.” Bulgarski folklor, 16/3 (1990): 75-94; 17/1 (1991): 61-78; 17/2 (1991): 3-12 (in Bulgarian)
Partial Polish translation in Ziemscy aniołowie niebiańscy ludzie: Anachoreci w bułgarskiej literaturze i kulturze. Ed. Georgi Minczew. Białzstok: Orthdruk, 2002, 121-32; 133-35.
The Christian Hajjis: Mobility and Status in the Ottoman Empire (monograph)
“The Gospel according to Dostoevsky: Crime and Punishment” (article) for Companion to Literature and Religion (Routledge)
Women and Mobility in the Eastern Mediterranean
Eastern Christian Widows
Founding Director, “Culture, Religion, and Communication” Unit, Columbia University Global Health Research Center of Central Asia
Member, Executive Committee, The Harriman Institute
Member, Editorial Board, Starobulgarska Literatura