Honorary Research Associate

Academic Profile

Dr Elena Katz is a senior researcher on the project 'Penality and Ethnicity in Russia' at the School of Geography and the Environment. Prior to this she worked in the School from March 2010 until December 2013 on the AHRC-funded project Penality and the Social Construction of Gender in Post-Soviet Russia: the Impact on Prisoners' Relatives of Their Encounters with Penal Russia. As Max Hayward Research Fellow in Russian Literature at St Antony's College, Oxford she completed her first book on representations of Jews in Russian literature and culture which came out in 2008. Her academic career stretches back to her home country, the Republic of Moldova, where she obtained her undergraduate degree in history from the Moldavian State University in Kishinev. She embarked on postgraduate Jewish studies at Oxford, and received her MA with distinction in Modern Jewish Studies at Leeds. Elena gained a doctorate in literature at Southampton University in 2004. She was then awarded an Academic Jewish Studies in Europe Fellowship at University College London in 2004-2005.

Current Research

Her research focuses on the perceptions of various 'others' in Russian literature, history and culture. She is interested in issues of Russian identity, examining how Russians assess 'what it is to be Russian' while answering 'what is it to be the other'. Her research seminar series at St Antony's "Them" and "Us" in the Russian Imagination explored the issues of 'other-ization' and the discourses of identity in past and present Russian society in relation to different major and minor Others such as the West, women, and various social and ethnic groups. This particular project will allow her to apply her interests in the issues of identity, society and marginalisation to penal Others and groups associated with them.

She is also working in collaboration with Laura Piacentini on the project 'A Sociology of Rights Consciousness Amongst Prisoners in Russia' (as Research Associate, School of Law, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Strathclyde Glasgow).

Selected Research Projects


Selected Publications

Publications are those that were listed on the old website. Publications database integration forthcoming.
Work in Progress
  • Book manuscript together with Laura Piacentini, provisional title: Prison Netnography and Human Rights (Routledge)
  • 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 and his Jews. The case of Ivan Vyzhigin in the Russian judeophobic tradition. The Russian Review.
  • 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. (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.
  • E. Katz (August 2015). Muslim Prisoners in Contemporary Russia. IX World Congress of ICCEES, Chiba, Japan.
  • E. Katz (March 2015) 'A Criminal has No Nationality' [ПРЕСТУПНИК НЕ ИМЕЕТ НАЦИОНАЛЬНОСТИ]: Ethnicity and Penality in Russia. BASEES Annual Conference. Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, UK.
  • E. Katz (November 2013) 'Quasi-Prisoners: The Invisible Victims of the Russian Carceral System, Yesterday and Today.' ASEES 45th Annual Convention, Boston, MA.
  • E. Katz and J. Pallot (April 2013) 'The Rights of Prisoners' Children: How the Russian Penal Service Performs.' BASEES European Congress, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, UK.
  • Katz, E. (August 2012) '"My path lies drear and wild…": A Prisoner Wife in Russia'. Workshop on 'Punishment as a Crime? Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Russian Prison Culture', Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University.
  • E. Katz (March 2009) 'Gender and Crime in Post-Soviet Russia' (on materials of Post Perestroika legal journals). BASEES Annual Conference. Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, UK.