Associate Professor of Literary Studies
Chair of Liberal Arts, The BA for Adults and Transfer Students
Director of Literary Translation
Director of Jewish Culture
VAL VINOKUR has been published in such venues as Common Knowledge, The Boston Review, McSweeney's, LitHub, The Russian Review, Zeek, The Massachusetts Review, Journal of Religion and Society, The Literary Review, and New American Writing. His book, The Trace of Judaism: Dostoevsky, Babel, Mandelstam, Levinas, was published by Northwestern University Press and was a finalist for the 2009 AATSEEL Award for Best Book in Literary/Cultural Studies. He has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship in support of his and Rose-Myriam Réjouis' translation of Marie Vieux-Chauvet's trilogy Amour, Colere et Folie -- a lost classic of Haitian literature -- for Random House Modern Library (2009). Rejouis and Vinokur have also translated two novels by Patrick Chamoiseau, Solibo Magnificent and Texaco (Pantheon Books, 1997). His translation of Isaac Babel’s stories was published in 2017 by Northwestern University Press. He is the founding editor of Poets & Traitors Press and is the author of Relative Genitive: Poems, with Translations from Osip Mandelstam and Vladimir Mayakovsky.
PhD, Princeton University (Comparative Literature)
BA, Amherst College (summa cum laude in English/Russian, magna cum laude in Political Science)
• Relative Genitive: Poems, with Translations from Osip Mandelstam and Vladimir Mayakovsky (Poets & Traitors Press, 2018)
• The Essential Fictions, by Isaac Babel, annotated translation with preface (Northwestern University Press, 2018).
• The Trace of Judaism: Dostoevsky, Babel, Mandelstam, Levinas (Northwestern University Press, 2008)
• Love, Anger, Madness, translation with Rose Réjouis of a three novellas by Marie Vieux-Chauvet (Modern Library, 2009)
""Ekphrasis and Collaboration in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and Joe Wright's" (with Rose Réjouis) in Tolstoy Studies Journal Special Issue, Anna Karenina for the Twenty First Century, edited by Ani Kokobobo and Emma Lieber (2016).
• LitHub Interview on Isaac Babel with David Novack (2016)
• "The Russians Came!" The Boston Review (2014)
• "The Art and Science of Translating Isaac Babel," The Odessa Review (2016)
• "Russian Existentialism, or Existential Russianism,” in Situating Existentialism, ed. Judaken and Bernasconi (Columbia University Press 2012)
• Verse translations in Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and about Mayakovsky, ed. Michael Almereyda (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008). Listen here [autoplay].
• "Levinas Underground: Dostoyevsky, "De L'evasion," and the Devil,” Levinas Studies vol 5 (2010)
• "Roth, Babel, and a Question of Blood," Zeek (2008)
• "Your Worship," The Boston Review (2007)
• "New Jews from the Old Country,” The Boston Review Feb-March 2005.
• "Morality and Orality in Isaac Babel's Red Cavalry," The Massachusetts Review Winter 2005.
• "On the Brink of Tears and Laughter: The Uses of Joy and Suffering in Levinas’s Thought,” (PDF) The Journal of Religion and Society 6, 2004.
• "Levinas’s Dostoevsky," Common Knowledge, Spring 2003.
• "Talking Fiction: What is Russian Skaz?" McSweeney’s, Fall 2002.
• "The End of Consciousness and the Ends of Consciousness: A Reading of Dostoevsky’s The Idiot and Demons after Levinas," The Russian Review, January, 2000.
19th and 20th century Russian Literature, Dostoevsky, Jewish Studies, Modern Jewish Thought, Literary Translation, Literature and Ethics, Poetry.
Ind Senior Project
Major Russian Novels
Literary Translation Workshop
Creative Thesis & Lit. Project