We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. Do You agree?

Professor Marzena Zawanowska


Graduated from the Department of Hebraic and Arabic Studies (2001), completed her PhD at the Faculty of Oriental Studies (UW) in collaboration with Tel Aviv University (2008), where she completed postdoctoral fellowships.
For many years she was affiliated with the Department of Jewish Culture and History (Maria Curie-Skłodowska University) and the Department of Hebraistics (University of Warsaw), and now she also works as a curator of the manuscript collection at the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute.
She received her habilitation on the basis of a series of articles on Karaism and Jewish biblical exegesis in Arabic in the world of medieval Islam (2019).

Her main research interests include medieval biblical exegesis (especially Karaite biblical exegesis written in Judeo-Arabic), as well as the borderlands of Judaism and Islam, the history of Jewish thought, and literature.

Most important publications

Most important scholarly articles

  • From Yūsuf al-Baṣīr to Judah Halevi: The Sadduceean Myth of the Origins of Karaism in Medieval Rabbanite Sources Revisited, „Medieval History Journal” 25(2) (2022), 252–291



  • Reconstructing the Past and Conceptualizing the Jewish “Other”: How the Babylonian Geonim Contributed to the Creation of the Founding Myth of Karaism, „History of Religions” 62(1) (2022), 73–108


  • Islamic Influences on the Emergence of Historical Sensibilities among the Karaites: The Story of the Tower of BabelJewish Quarterly Review” 111(3) (2021), 389–413


  • The Art of Ambiguity: The Karaites as Portrayed in Judah Halevi’s Book of the Kuzari, „AJS Review” 46(1) (2021), 143166


  • Review of Scholarly Research on Yefet ben Eli and His WorksRevue des études juives 173 (1/2) (2014), 97–138

Current scholarly projects