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Personlig profil


Elena is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki consulting Gulag Echoes project which is funded by the European Research Council.  She is originally from Moldova and her family’s history dates back to the Jewish Pale of Settlement in Imperial Russia.  Her research and teaching are in Russian area Studies, literary and cultural history where she has widely published. Her first book was completed when she was a Max Hayward Fellow in Russian Literature at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford and was titled Neither with Them, Nor Without Them: The Russian Writer and the Jew in the Age of Realism (2008). Her current research focuses on Russian society and its cultural and social practices. Her most recent book was an outcome of the AHRC-funded project at the School of Geography, University of Oxford where Elena as a Senior Researcher collaborated with Judith Pallot in writing Waiting at the Prison Gate: Women, Identity and the Russian Penal System (2017). Her forthcoming book in collaboration with Laura Piacentini (spring 2022, Routledge) is titled The Virtual Reality of Imprisonment in Russia: “Preparing myself for Prison” in a Contested Human Rights Landscape. Elena has served on Russia as an expert witness in extradition proceedings. 


It is to record here a categorical opposition to the war waged against Ukraine and on Ukrainians in March 2022 by Russia. When the dictator President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, he claimed to do so in the name of Russian people, but has inflicted unacceptable and unjustified suffering on all Ukrainians and, at the same time, has condemned millions of Russians to an unknown future of global isolation, social and economic suffering and escalating authoritarianism. Putin’s war dealt a huge blow to the fraternal ties between the two nations, he assaulted humanity, exploiting his massive brainwashing propaganda machine amongst Russia’s population. Elena reflects back to her family’s history which dates back to the Jewish Pale of Settlement in Imperial Russia. Her mother, Svetlana, is a Ukrainian Jew, her father, Mihail, is a Russian Jew. Elena and her brother Alexander were born and raised in Moldova. Their Jewish family enjoyed many friendships with Moldovan, Ukrainian, Russian and other diverse ethnic groups in the region. With decades long experience of working in the region and seeing, up close, the devastating personal impact of the war on friends and colleagues, here is to express the shock and sorrow - and solidarity - with all affected in both Ukraine and Russia.

[the above statement is abridged from the forthcoming book The Virtual Reality of Imprisonment in Russia: “Preparing myself for Prison” in a Contested Human Rights Landscape]





Forthcoming together with Laura Piacentini, title: The Virtual Reality of Imprisonment in Russia: “Preparing myself for Prison” in a Contested Human Rights Landscape (Routledge, April 2022)

Pallot, J. and Katz, E. (2017) Waiting at the Prison Gate: Women, Identity and the Russian Prison System. I.B. Tauris. ISBN: 9781784536602.
BBC Radio 4 discussion of the book on the programme 'Thinking Allowed', 19 May 2017.

Katz, E. (2008) Neither with Them, Nor without Them. The Russian Writer and the Jew in the Age of Realism. Syracuse University Press. 384 pp. ISBN: 978-0-8156-3182-8.




Piacentini, L. and Katz, E. (2018) The virtual reality of imprisonment: the impact of social media on prisoner agency and prison structure in Russian prisons. Oñati Socio-Legal Series.


Katz, E. and Pallot, J. (2017) 'As the Thread Follows the Needle': The Social Construction of the Prisoner's Wife in Russia from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-first Century. In, Ilic, M. (ed.) The Palgrave Handbook of Women and Gender in Twentieth-Century Russia and the Soviet Union. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 381-396. ISBN: 978-1-137-54905-1


Piacentini, L. and Katz, E. (2016) Carceral framing of human rights in Russian prisons. Punishment and Society, 19(2): 221-239.


Katz, E. and Pallot, J. (2015) Zheny zakliuchennykh v postsovetskoi Rossii: "Puskai gor'ka moya sud'ba - ya budu ei verna!" In, Omelchenko, E. and Pallot, J. (ed.) Около тюрьмы: женские сети поддержки заключенных. SPb, Aleteiya: 21-50.


Katz, E. and Pallot, J. (2014) Prisoners' wives in post-Soviet Russia: "For my husband I am pining!". Europe-Asia Studies, 66(2): 204-224.


Pallot, J. and Katz, E. (2014) The management of prisoners' children in the Russian Federation. The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 53(3): 237-254.


Katz, E. (2013) "I will empower him!": Representations of prisoners' wives in Russia. Slavonica, 19(2): 128-146.


Katz, E. and Pallot, J. (2010) From femme normale to femme criminelle in Russia: against the past or towards the future? New Zealand Slavonic Journal, 44: 111-139.


Katz, E. (2010) Turgenev and the Jewish Question. In, Reid, R. and Andrew, J. (eds.) Turgenev: Art, ideology, and legacy. Rodopi. 358 pp. ISBN: 9042031476.


Katz, E. (2008) The literary development of Yekhiel Shraybman: a Jewish writer in Soviet clothing. East European Jewish Affairs, 38(3): 281-301.


Katz, E. (2007) Faddei Bulgarin's Polish Jews and Their Significance for the Russian Judeophobic Tradition. The Russian Review66(3), 406-423.


Katz, E. (2005) Uroki morali' Faddeia Bulgarina na primere obraza evreia v Ivane Vyzhigine (Lessons in morals' of Faddei Bulgarin through the image of the Jew in Ivan Vyzhigin). Proceedings of the 12th International Inter-disciplinary Conference in Judaica, Moscow: Sefer, RAN, 2005, pp. 363-368.


Katz, E. (2000) Zhizn' i tvorchestvo evreiskogo pisatelya Moldovy Ikhila Shraibmana v zerkale bessarabskoi istorii (Life and Work of Moldavian Jewish writer Ikhil Shraibman in the mirror of Bessarabian history). In, Almanac of the Institute of Inter-Ethnic Research, Kishinev, Academy of Sciences of Moldova, vol. 1.


Katz, E. (1995) Kagalurile Basarabiei (Kagals of Bessarabia). In, Shtiintsa, 12. Kishinev: Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Moldova.


Encyclopedic entries

Ikhil Shraybman. Encyclopedia Judaica.


Articles in Newspapers

Katz, E. (1996) Kagal'naiia Systema Bessarabii (The Kagal System in Bessarabia). Istoki, 2(63), (October 1996).

Katz, E. (1995) Iz glubiny vekov' (From the depth of centuries). Nash golos, 2-3 (113).



Katz, E. (1996) Orekhovoye schast'e' (Nut's happiness). A literary novella in, Kodry, 11-12. Kishinev: Universul.



Katz, E. and Nosenko-Stein, E. (2017) review of David Bolt’s "The metanarrative of blindness: a re-reading of twentieth-century Anglophone writing: The metanarrative of blindness: a re-reading of twentieth-century Anglophone writing, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 2014.

Katz, E. (2014) Review of Mark Bassin and Catriona Kelly (eds.) Soviet and Post-Soviet Identities. Slavonic and East European Review, 92(1): 186-187.

Katz, E. (2013) Review of Orlando Figes's Just Send Me Word: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag. Slavic and East European Journal, 57(2): 304-305.

Katz, E. (2012) Review of Steven Barnes's Death and Redemption: The Gulag and the Shaping of Soviet Society. Europe-Asia Studies, 64(7): 1334-1335.

Katz, E. (2011) Review of Henrietta Mondry's Exemplary Bodies: Constructing the Jew in Russian Culture since the 1880s. Slavonica, 17(1): 52.

Katz, E. (2008) Review of An Anthology of Jewish-Russian Literature: Two Centuries of Dual Identity in Prose and Poetry, 2 vols, edited by Maxim D. Shrayer. East European Jewish Affairs, 38(1).

Katz, E. (2007) Review of The Jews of Eastern Europe: Studies in Jewish Civilization, Volume 16, edited by Leonard J. Greenspoon, Ronald A. Simkins and Brian J. Horowitz. Slavic and East European Journal, 51(1).

Katz, E. (2006) Review of Telo, dukh i dusha v russkoi literature i culture, edited by Aage A. Hansen-Löve and Tilmann Reuther. Slavic and East European Journal, 50(4).

Katz, E. (2006) Review of Henrietta Mondry's Pisateli-narodniki i evrei. G. Uspenskii i V. Korolenko. The Russian Review, 65(4).

Katz, E. (2004) Review of Henrietta Mondry and Efim Kurganov's book Rozanov i evrei. Slavic and East European Journal, 48(2).

Katz, E. (2004) Review of Efim Kurganov's Dostoevsky i Talmud, ili shtrikhi k portretu Ivana Karamazova (Dostoevsky and the Talmud, Or Additional Features of the Portrayal of Ivan Karamazov). East European Jewish Affairs, 34(1).

Katz, E. (2003) Review of Gabriella Safran's Rewriting the Jew: Assimilation Narratives in the Russian Empire. Slavic and East European Journal, 46(1).

Katz, E. (2001) Review of Savva Dudakov's Paradoksy i prichudy filosemitizma i antisemitizma v Rossii (Paradoxes and Caprices of Philo-semitism and Anti-Semitism in Russia). East European Jewish Affairs, 31(2).

Katz, E. (2000) Review of Rita Genzeleva's Puti evreiskogo samoosoznaniya (Paths of Jewish Self-Consciousness). Jewish Culture and History, 3(2).

Katz, E. (1994) Review of the collection Kishinev's Pogrom 1903. Nezavisimaia Moldova, 116.


Externa befattningar

Senior Member and College Advisor, Russian and Eurasian Study Centre, St. Antony's College, University of Oxford


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