Sophie Cardin

Research Topic:

Kalman Zingman’s Edenia: A Utopian Window into the History of Yiddish Political Thought
Political Theory Network
Brasenose College
MPhil Political Theory

I am an MPhil student in Political Theory at Brasenose College and the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. 

Currently, I am thinking and writing about utopia and the history of Yiddish political thought. In my thesis, I develop and use what I call a ‘function-based’ approach to analysing utopian texts to provide the first extended study of Kalman Zingman’s Yiddish-language utopian novel, In Der Tsukunft-Shtot Edenia (1918) and to elaborate central ideas in Yiddish political thought. The aims of my thesis are to:

  1. begin to recover the history of Yiddish political thought;
  2. provide a necessary complement to existing accounts of Marxism, Zionism, and German-Jewish political thought that are incomplete and impoverished without an account of how they were influenced by Yiddish political thought; 
  3. provide new substantive insights on nationhood and nationalism, non-territorial sovereignty and the nation-state, language politics and post-vernacularity;
  4. offer intellectual resources for contemporary theorising and action; and 
  5. expand our sense of what ‘counts’ as political thought by undertaking a serious study of utopian fiction.

Research Interests

  • Utopia and utopianism
  • Yiddish political thought and its history
  • Nineteenth and twentieth century Jewish political thought and related traditions (e.g., Russian Marxism)
  • Jewish diasporism and anti-zionism


Relevant Posts

Convener, Oxford Utopia Reading Group — Weekly interdisciplinary reading group for postgraduate students and faculty interested in utopian literature and political thought.

Coordinating Committee, Farbindungen Yiddish Studies Conference — Work with an international team to solicit abstracts, select papers, plan panels, and organize workshops for an annual Yiddish studies conference for graduate students and early career scholars.