Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) / Literature

Department Head: Dr. Ruth Yardeni

The Major in Literature is open to students in the humanities, preparing to teach in secondary schools, as well as to those who intend to work in the elementary school, in early childhood education and in special education.

The goal of the literature department is to prepare graduates with a broad knowledge of Hebrew and world literature that will enable them to enter the fields of education, research or communication, as well as to continue on to advanced degrees in the humanities. The department is divided into three sub-departments: Hebrew literature, world literature and children’s literature. It is our belief that giving the students a broad exposure to literature will give them a deeper understanding of it as well.

This premise is a foundation stone in the college literature department. Our concept has two objectives: understanding man and his world through the appreciation of literature‘s aesthetic, original texts and seeing literature in a larger cultural sense connecting to other cultural disciplines in the humanities, arts and social sciences.

Thus the studies in the literature department have a definite humanistic approach. They strive to provide students with the tools of analysis for critical appreciation of literary works. We use a multi – disciplinary approach in an attempt to create, even at this early stage, a meaningful dialogue between literature and other disciplines such as cinema, art and music, history, philosophy and the Bible. We encourage individual reading, in particular the works of contemporary writers as well as new directions in literature teaching.

The department provides students with a thrilling literary experience through explorations in the world of novels, stories, plays and poetry.

The literature department provides you with the opportunity to learn about yourself and your world in a stimulating, profound and enriching series of courses, and, at the same time, prepare yourself for work as an educator.

“Literature is primarily an attempt to understand human beings“ – Romain Rolland.
Thus literature deals with man and his world; in this connection, no subject is taboo.
In this course we attempt to answer basic questions: what is literature and how do literary texts differ from other written works, newspapers for instance? Should literature exist in an “ivory tower“ or is it intended to serve political, social, or therapeutic purposes? What is the role of “divine inspiration“ in the creation of literature or is a work the result of the intensive, hard work of its author?

“Literature stands above the laws of extinction – it is the sole immortal“.
We will introduce the student to the immortal literary works of Hebrew and world literature; writers who tried to understand themselves and the world they lived in: From Hebrew literature: Yehuda Halevi, Y.L.Gordon, Bialik and Agnon, Dvora Baron, Alterman, Alexander Penn, Amos Oz, A.B.Yehoshua, Yaakov Shabtai, Yehuda Amichai, Natan Zach, Orly Castel-Blum and many others. From world literature: Greek mythology, Dante, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Camus and many others.

“There are three rules on how to write a novel. Unfortunately nobody knows what they are...“ wrote, tongue in cheek, Somerset Maugham, the English writer.
We will try to discover these, unknown rules. Can a literary work be written or judged by scientific rules? Why should a literary work be “analyzed“ or interpreted at all? Does such interpretation spoil the pleasure we get from a spontaneous reading of a literary work? Is it important to understand “what the author meant“ in his work? Does a literary work have only one meaning or can each reader decide what the right meaning is for him? How do we decide which interpretation is “better or more correct“? What are our tools for investigating, interpreting and understanding a literary work?

These are only some of the questions which we will encounter in our literature classes. We will “open the covers“ of literature to its broader aspects – the connection between literature and cinema in the main intellectual directions in the twentieth century and the literary and philosophic connections that constitute the subject of the dialogue between contemporary Hebrew literature and the Bible. In this way we will have a sense of the historical place of modern Hebrew literature.

We will meet writers, artists and researchers of the first rank during the course. Thus this literature course will provide you, students, with a systematic academic grounding in literature together with an exciting educational experience in the fascinating world of novels, stories and poetry.