Julia Rubanovich is Senior Lecturer in Persian Language and Literature and Head of the Iranian Studies Program at the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is currently teaching also in Amirim (Interdisciplinary Honors Program in the Humanities). She studies medieval Persian literature and is especially interested in epic poetry, including Judeo-Persian; the Alexander-Romance in the Islamic domain; the mechanisms of literary reception, specifically in connection with Firdausī's Shāh-nāma; the evolution of literary canon; folk literature, notably prose dāstāns, and the problem of medieval orality; the concepts of authorship and the emergence of authorial self-consciousness in medieval Persian literature.
Julia Rubanovich is presently engaged in two research projects: one, funded by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung für Wissenschaftsförderung, focuses on the evolution of prefatory writing in early medieval Persian literature (10th - 14th centuries); the other, supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), studies the Tale of Joseph/Yūsuf and Zulaykhā in a fourteenth-century Judeo-Persian epic poem Bereshīt-nāma by Shāhīn.
Julia Rubanovich was born in Tallinn, Estonia, and spent her undergraduate years at the Saint Petersburg (former Leningrad) University where she studied Iranian philology. She completed her undergraduate, graduate and PhD studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, earning her PhD degree in classical Persian literature in 2004. She spent her post-doctoral year (2004-2005) at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto.
Julia Rubanovich has started her teaching career while still an undergraduate student in 1993. Since then she has been teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in Iranian cultural history, medieval and modern Persian literature and language.
Her recent publications include an edited volume Orality and Textuality in the Iranian World: Patterns of interaction across the centuries (Brill, 2015); chapters ʻIn the Mood of Love: Love Romances in Medieval Persian Poetry and their Sourcesʼ and ʻA Hero Without Borders 3: Alexander the Great in the Medieval Persian Tradition,ʻ both in Fictional Storytelling in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean and Beyond (ed. C. Cupane and B. Krönung; Brill, 2016); articles ʻRe-Writing the Episode of Alexander and Candace in Medieval Persian Literature,ʼ in Alexander the Great in the Middle Ages: Transnational Perspectives (ed. M. Stock; Toronto UP, 2015); ʻWhy So Many Stories? Untangling the Versions of Iskandar’s Birth and Upbringing,ʼ in Orality and Textuality in the Iranian World (ed. J. Rubanovich; Brill, 2015). Two forthcoming volumes, Irano-Judaica VII: Studies Relating to Jewish Contacts with Persian Culture throughout the Ages, co-edited with Geoffrey Herman and Shaul Shaked, and Strategies of Preservation and Guardianship of the Authorial Composition in Medieval Arabic and Persian Literature (2d/8th - 9th/15th centuries), co-edited with Miriam Goldstein, will be published in 2018 by Yad Ben-Zvi Press and as a special volume of Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam respectively.