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Dr Nadia Vidro
Foster Court
Malet Place
Tel: 020 7679 3591
  • Research Associate
  • Dept of Hebrew & Jewish Studies
  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Dr. Nadia Vidro is a postdoctoral research associate in the project “Karaite and Rabbanite calendars: Origins, Interaction, and Polemic”, 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).

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. She 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.
From September 2018 Dr. Vidro works as a postdoctoral research associate in the project “Karaite 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 investigates the origins of the Karaite calendar, and studies the calendar disagreement between Karaites and Rabbanites, its significances on each side of the debate, and its polemical uses. This research also reflects 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. The results of Dr. Vidro’s research in both projects will be published in a monograph on medieval Jewish calendar, co-authored with Prof. Sacha Stern.
Dr. Vidro is also involved in the project “Calendar Fragments as a Tool for Palaeography” (British Academy Small Research Grant, PI Dr. Ben Outhwaite, Cambridge), where she explores 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 Karaite school of Hebrew linguistics. Her research centered around an unpublished Karaite pedagogical grammar of Biblical Hebrew Kitab al-Uqud fi Tasarif al-Lugha al-Ibraniyya (“The Book of Rules regarding the Grammatical Inflections of the Hebrew Language”). Dr. Vidro reconstructed, edited and translated into English the Judaeo-Arabic text of Kitab al-Uqud and examined approaches to the verbal classification and derivation reflected in Karaite works on Biblical Hebrew verbal morphology. Her investigation of didactic tools used in Karaite pedagogical grammars added a new dimension to the research literature on medieval Jewish education in the field of Biblical Hebrew. Dr. Vidro continues to follow her interest in the history of grammar by studying the transmission of grammatical knowledge between the Jewish and the Muslim cultures as reflected in grammars of Classical Arabic preserved in Judaeo-Arabic.

Teaching Summary

Nadia teaches Hebrew, Judaeo-Arabic 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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