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Julia Verkholantsev

Associate Professor

On sabbatical

Email: juliaver@sas.upenn.edu

Fall 2014 Courses

RUSS213 Saints and Devils in Russian Literature and Tradition
RUSS410 Russian Folk and Literary Tale

Education

Ph.D. Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of California, Los Angeles, 2004

M.A. (Indo-European) Linguistics, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1998

B.A. Russian and Slavic Studies, Linguistics, and Greek Language and Literature, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1995

Academic Interests
Julia Verkholantsev’s academic interests are in the field of cultural history, early modern and medieval literary and linguistic culture, and the history of ideas. Her publications focus on the cultural space of eastern, central, and southern Europe, particularly the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Bohemia, Poland, and Croatia. In research and teaching, she deals with topics that include the study of textual transmission; medieval history of and approaches to language, writing, and literacy; Slavic (Cyrillic, Glagolitic, and Latin) and Greek paleography and cryptography; projects and theories of universal language; and the examination of important connections between pre-modern and modern culture.    

Publications
Julia Verkholantsev’s first book, Ruthenica Bohemica: Ruthenian Translations from Czech in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Poland (Vienna: Lit-Verlag, 2008), examines the historical circumstances and textual history of the fifteenth-century Ruthenian translations from Czech of “The Song of Songs,” “The Book of Taudal the Knight” (“The Vision of Tundal”), “The Tale of Sivilla the Prophetess” (“The Sibylline Prophecy”) and “The Book of Tovit.” The study of these Czech Catholic sources adapted in the Orthodox Ruthenian milieu shows that the cultural and doctrinal divide between the Catholic and Orthodox civilizations in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries was not as strict as is generally assumed.
            Her second book, The Slavic Letters of St. Jerome: The History of the Legend and its Legacy or, How the Translator of the Vulgate Became a Slav (De Kalb: Northern Illinois University Press, Orthodox Christian Studies Series, 2014) explores the history of the medieval belief in St. Jerome's authorship of the Glagolitic letters and Roman Slavonic rite, and investigates its spread from Dalmatia to Bohemia and Poland. Now largely forgotten, the legend of the Slavic descent of St. Jerome was used by political and religious leaders from Rome to Bohemia and beyond for nearly five hundred years until it was debunked by eighteenth-century scholars. The book examines this belief within the context of wider European historical and theological thought and shows that it had an effect far beyond the Slavic world.
            Julia Verkholantsev is also the author of a number of articles on Slavic medieval cultural history (published in Speculum, Viator, Ricerche slavistiche, Drevniaia Rus, Slavia, etc.) and a co-editor (with Vyacheslav Vsevolodovich Ivanov) of the book Speculum Slaviae Orientalis: Muscovy, Ruthenia and Lithuania in the Late Middle Ages (Moscow: Novoe Izdatel’stvo, 2005).
            One of the projects on which she is now working deals with the tradition of "popular" etymologies of ethnonyms (found largely in chronicles and historiographic treatises) in the context of medieval rhetoric and attitudes to language as an epistemological instrument.

Courses:

Undergraduate

RUSS 100, Introduction to Russian Culture

RUSS 213, Saints and Devils in Russian Literature and Traditions (cross-listed COML 213, RELS 218)

RUSS 234, Medieval Russia: Origins of Russian Cultural Identity (cross-listed COML 235, HIST 219)

SLAV 100, Slavic Civilization (cross-listed HIST 231)

RUSS410 Russian Folk and Literary Tale (in Russian) RUSS 412, Romantics and Realists: Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature and Culture (in Russian)

RUSS 419, Russian Song and Folklore (in Russian)

Graduate seminars

SLAV 526, In Defiance of Babel: The Quest for a Universal Language (cross-listed COML 526, ENGL 705, HIST 526)

SLAV 517, Medieval Russia: Origins of Russian Cultural Identity

Select Recent Publications

Ruthenica Bohemica: Ruthenian Translations from Czech in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Poland, Julia Verkholantsev
Slavische Sprachgeschichte Bd 3. Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2008

Speculum Slaviae Orientalis: Muscovy, Ruthenia and Lithuania in the Late Middle Ages, Julia Verkholantsev, Vyacheslav V. Ivanov, eds.
UCLA Slavic Studies, n.s., IV, Moscow: Novoe Izdatel’stvo, 2005

Last updated on March 11, 2014