Dennis Sobolev is a literary scholar and writer, Associate Professor at the Department of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of Haifa. His academic interests include cultural theory, philosophical approaches to literature, phenomenology, metaphor and allegory, Victorian and Modernist poetry, religious literature, allegorical science fiction, the literatures of the Jewish diaspora, and interculturality.
Born in St. Petersburg (Leningrad) in 1971, Sobolev graduated with excellence from the B.A. Honors Program and the English Department. He received his Ph.D. in English literature and literary theory from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the author of nine books, has published numerous poems, novellas and essays, as well as more than sixty academic articles on literature and culture (almost all of them are full-length), which have been published in ten countries. His academic articles have appeared in «New Literary History,» «Language and Literature: Journal of the Poetics and Linguistics Association,» «Voprosy Literatury,» «SEL: Studies in English Literature 1600-1900,» «Victorian Literature and Culture,» «Christianity and Literature,» «English: the Journal of the English Association,» «English Studies,» «Connotations,» «Texas Studies in Literature and Language,» «Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism,» «Mejdunarodnyi Journal Issledovanii Kultury,» «The Hopkins Quarterly,» «The Victorian Newsletter,» «The Explicator,» and other journals, as well as numerous collections of academic essays. Many of these journals belong to the most highly esteemed ones in the field of literary studies. Of these essays, fifteen have been devoted to various aspects of the writings of the first European Modernist, Gerard Manley Hopkins: from the language of mysticism to the representations of the body.
Dennis Sobolev has served as the Chair of the Department of Hebrew and Comparative Literature, the Chair of the Steering Committee for Cultural Studies Program, the Director of Graduate Studies in Literature, as well as other administrative positions; for almost ten years he taught at the B.A. Honors program at the University of Haifa; he received the Distinguished Teacher Award on two occasions. He has been and is a member of various academic and administrative committees at the level of the department, the faculty, and the university. Sobolev is a member of the editorial boards and councils of the academic journals» Voprosy Literatury,» «Dappim,» «Iudaica Russica,» «Mejdunarodnyi Journal Issledovanii Kultury,» «Praktiki i Interpretatsii,» and «Journal Integrativnyh Issledovanii Kultury,» as well as two literary journals, «Ierusalimsky Journal» and «Article.» He co-edited the book «Contemporary Israel,» which focuses on the relationship between culture and society, and two thematic issues of the journal «Dappim». He is frequently asked to review academic books, scholarly articles, which are submitted to different journals and the collections of essays, Ph.D. and M.A.reserarch programs and theses, literary texts, as well as the research projects submitted to the Israeli Science Foundation (affiliated with the Israeli Academy of Science). Three times, he served as a member of literary prizes committees. Sobolev has delivered numerous presentations at different academic conferences (among them as a keynote speaker, or giving an opening lecture), as well as invited video-lectures. He has co-organized ten conferences, focusing on various subjects. In addition, he has given more than 40 invited talks and popular lectures (including the national theater Habima), as well as talks on radio and TV.
Sobolev’s first poetic book, «Trails,» was reprinted in 2017. He is the author of the novel «Jerusalem» (the shortlist of the 2006 Russian Booker Prize) and the book «Res Judaica,» which analyzes a broad spectrum of cultural encounters between Christian and Jewish civilizations (2007). His fundamental study – «The Concepts Used to Analyze ‘Culture’: A Critique of Twentieth-Century Ways of Thinking» (2010) – is devoted to the clarification and analysis of the concepts of the individual and culture, as they have gradually appeared from the development of literary criticism, theoretical historiography, anthropology, semiotics, ideological criticism, and cultural studies over the course of the twentieth century. His book «The Split World of Gerard Manley Hopkins: An Essay in Semiotic Phenomenology» (2011) analyzes the entire Hopkins oeuvre, as well as proposes a new approach to the phenomenological analysis of literature. Sobolev’s 2016 novel – «Mt. Carmel Legends: Fourteen Tales of Love and Time» – has been nominated for the National Bestseller Book Prize and the ABS Prize (the most important prize for the literature of the fantastic in the Russian language). His most recent poetic book «Through» and his novel «On the Doorstep» have been published in 2020. His sixteen-partite novel «Resurrection» will be published in 2021.