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Valentina Izmirlieva


Valentina Izmirlieva is the director of Columbia University’s Harriman Institute and a scholar of Balkan and Russian religious cultures with a strong background in critical theory and intellectual history. Much of her research addresses cultural exchanges among Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the context of multi-ethnic, multi-religious empires and their successor states. She explores religious coexistence beyond the dominant paradigms of “conflict studies” and “the clash of civilizations.” Professor Izmirlieva’s first book, All the Names of The Lord: Lists, Mysticism and Magic (University of Chicago, 2008), examines traces of the Kabbalah in Christian texts across medieval and early modern Europe. Her current book project focuses on Christian-Muslim cultural exchange in the Ottoman Empire during the 19th Century. She founded and leads Black Sea Networks, a global initiative to investigate the Black Sea as a hub of cultural, political, and historical interest.