From my perspective as an Anglo-German scholar with a knowledge of several European languages, I have devoted my academic career to the study of the multilingual Jewish press in the European Diaspora and the Jewish contribution to European Thought.

Having studied Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Translation and Interpreting, combined with Russian Language and Literature at the Universities of Leipzig and Tubingen, I joined the academic staff at Queens University Belfast in 1995, before moving to my present appointment at the University of Portsmouth, where I have held the chair of applied linguistics since 2005. The study in Leipzig and Tubingen as well as the research environment at Queens have enabled me to pioneer research methods on how to use the tools of applied linguistics for the study of social change.

My work has been supported by a variety of minor and major research grants from the AHRC, the Royal Irish and British Academies, Leverhulme Trust, Hanadiv/Rothchild Foundation, and a number of visiting scholarships at academic institutions in the UK and Germany, including the Centre for Research on Antisemitism of the Technical University Berlin (2003-04), the Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context of the University of Heidelberg (2014-15) and the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, scheduled for 2022-23.

I am currently in the process of assembling an annotated bibliography on the historical press of German Jewry during the period 1670-1943, with publication anticipated for 2025. Within this context, I have been editing (since 2006), together with Professor Michael Nagel (University of Bremen), the bilingual series ‘The Jewish Press. Studies in History and Language

My other research strand is the cultural production of Russia Abroad during the first third of the 20th century, including art publishing, Russian Orientalism and Muslim-Jewish interaction in Central Asia. My latest books “The Firebird as an Art Journal. Zhar ptitsa: Russia on Display in Berlin, 1921-26” (Vienna 2012; original in German) and “Migration and Creativity. Positioning and Ambiguity in the Oeuvre of the Russian-German Artist Georg Schlicht (1886-1964)” (University of Bamberg press, 2021, co-authored with Ada Raev, original in German) are the result of extensive research on Berlin as the first capital of post-1917 Russian Emigration. The research was supported by the University of Bamberg, two British Academy Senior Research Fellowships, and two International Research Fellowships granted by the universities of Belfast and Heidelberg.

Part of this research strand is my long-standing collaboration with Professor Igor Dukhan from the Belarussian State University Minsk (since 2001) under the heading Art-Design-Polis, which has now widened its scope to include partner institutions in Russia, Latvia, Germany, Italy and France. In this newly established network, entitled Art in Dialogue, we work towards a new understanding and reinterpretation of art, architectural and design processes in the context of our changing times, and the restoration and development of mutual dialogue.

The goal of sharing my research with a wider public has led me to contribute to various activities outside the academic sector. They include an exhibition project on “Yiddish Translation in Berlin during the Inter-war period” (2020-2021) (, and a DAF-project, in which I elaborated on methods of “Teaching and Learning with Immigrants. A Cosmopolitan Approach” (2016-2017) (https://univerlag.uni- 4/MatDaF97_wieschaffen.pdf?sequence=5&).

I have been an honorary research associate of the Department for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College London (2000-2020) and at the newly founded Centre of Migration, Diaspora and Exile at the University of Central Lancashire (MIDEX) since 2020. Other affiliations include the AHRC Peer Review College to which I contributed from 2004 to 2014, the British and Irish Association for Jewish Studies (BIAJS) and the European Association for Jewish Studies (EAJS).

Research Interests

Research Clusters

  • Cohabited Space.

Discipline Areas

  • Russian Cultural Production in Berlin, 1921-26.
  • The History of the Jewish Press in Central and Eastern Europe before the Second World War.
  • Russian Orientalism.
  • Heterotopic Sites in Central Asia.