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Dr Nadia Vidro
321
Foster Court
Malet Place
London
WC1E 6BT
Tel: 020 7679 3591
Dr Nadia Vidro profile picture
Appointment
  • Research Associate
  • Dept of Hebrew & Jewish Studies
  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities
Biography

Dr. Nadia Vidro is a Senior Research Fellow in the project “Saadya Gaon's Works on the Jewish Calendar: Near Eastern Sources and Transmission to the West”, funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. She holds a PhD in Hebrew Studies from Cambridge (2010), an MA in Jewish Studies (major), Islamic Studies (minor) and General Linguistics (minor) from the University of Cologne (2004) and a Diploma in Bio-physics from the Saratov State University, Russia (2000). In her PhD, written under the supervision of Prof. Geoffrey Khan, Nadia studied Qaraite works on Biblical Hebrew grammar, focusing on the Qaraite approaches to Biblical Hebrew verbal morphology.

Research Summary

Dr. Nadia Vidro’s primary research interests are Hebrew manuscripts and Jewish intellectual history.

Dr. Vidro’s research at UCL focuses on the history of the Jewish calendar. In her current project, “Saadya Gaon's Works on the Jewish Calendar: Near Eastern Sources and Transmission to the West”, funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and led by Prof. Sacha Stern (UCL) and Prof. Ronny Vollandt (LMU), she studies the calendar writings of Saadya Gaon. Saadya Gaon was the preeminent scholar and leader of rabbinic Jews in the early tenth century, a period, when the calendar and dates of Jewish festivals were subject to major disagreements and conflicts in the Near East. In this project, Nadia will reconstruct and edit the full corpus of Saadyanic calendar writings, and will analyse this corpus against the background of earlier calendar literature and the diffusion of the Rabbanite calendar in later medieval Europe.

Dr. Nadia Vidro joined UCL in 2013 as a research associate in the ERC-funded project “Calendars in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages: standardization and fixation” (PI Prof. Sacha Stern), where she studied popular, non-standard Jewish calendars in medieval manuscripts. Easy to produce, these calendars were incompatible with the normative rabbinic calendar and could have led to holidays being celebrated at divergent times. Nadia systematically surveyed the evidence of reiterative calendars in medieval manuscripts, analyzed how they were constructed and used, and investigated their historical implications.

In 2018-2021 Dr. Vidro worked as a postdoctoral research associate in the project “Qaraite and Rabbanite calendars: Origins, Interaction, and Polemic”, funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and led by Prof. Sacha Stern (UCL) and Prof. Ronny Vollandt (LMU). Her research investigated the origins of the Qaraite calendar, and studied the calendar disagreement between Qaraites and Rabbanites, its significances on each side of the debate, and its polemical uses. This research also reflected on how people run their lives with different timeframes and calendars, and on the impact this exerts upon the sense of social belonging and identity. 

At the same time Dr. Vidro was also involved in the project “Calendar Fragments as a Tool for Palaeography” (British Academy Small Research Grant, PI Dr. Ben Outhwaite, Cambridge), where she explored the possibility of using datable calendar fragments from the Cairo Genizah as points of comparison for handwriting analysis.

Before joining UCL Dr. Vidro studied and worked in the University of Cambridge (2006–2013), where she specialized in the history of Hebrew linguistics, looking at grammatical manuscripts from the Qaraite school of Hebrew linguistics. 

Teaching Summary

Nadia teaches Hebrew, Judaeo-Arabic, medieval Jewish history and courses on the Cairo Genizah

Academic Background
2009   Doctor of Philosophy University of Cambridge
2004   Master of Arts Universitat Koln
2000   Diploma in Physics Saratov State University
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