The English Department at the Hebrew University offers a prestigious programme for the study of literature in English. Our focus is on the British and American traditions supplemented by insights into South African, Canadian and Irish literatures. We pride ourselves on the high level of our Seminars and on the international reputation of our researchers.

Class discussions foster an enriching intellectual experience conducive to high-quality writing. We approach literary texts from a wide variety of perspectives: formal, thematic, historical.

Students come to the department with a broad range of interests and aspirations; some students view academia as their calling while others complement vocational studies in law, business or psychology with the development of language and writing skills and an education in the humanities, which greatly contribute to their personal and professional development. Many of our students find employment in academia, education, journalism, or translation. 

All Departmental activities -- including lectures, exams and extracurricular events -- are conducted in English. Participation in the programme necessitates a strong command of the English language. The minimal requirement for admission is a full exemption from the English section of the Psychometric Exam or the equivalent grade in the Amiram Exam.

For detailed information on our admissions workshop and requirements see here.







Message from the Chair

Welcome to the website of the English Department at the Hebrew University. If you are interested in studying literature in English, this is the place for you. I hope by this brief introductory letter to give you a sense of what the department has to offer...

Mackintosh Chair


--Why study literature?

Let me begin by saying a few words about the programme: we are a literature department and our main goal is the study of literature written in English. We want to understand how literary texts work, and to root that understanding in a strong knowledge of English, American and other Anglophone literary traditions.

The study of literature is the pursuit of a passion. There is no better reason to choose a degree in literature than to invest in one's love of reading. At the same time, literary analysis has a unique power to enter into dialogue with other discourses; it informs, and in turn is enriched by the rhetoric of law, politics, psychoanalysis, philosophy, opening up each of these fields to interdisciplinary critique.

Accordingly, our students come to the Department with a broad range of interests and aspirations; some view academia as their calling while others complement studies in law, psychology or international relations with the development of language and writing skills, and an education in the humanities, which greatly contribute to their personal and professional development.

You will notice that teachers in our Department ascribe to different methods of teaching—these methods reflect diverse views on how to read a literary work, and sometimes conflicting notions of what makes a book great. Methodological variety is something we try to foster. One of the most important challenges facing the humanities (and especially literature departments) is to come up with new approaches, new ways of thinking about timeless questions. Our aim is to do justice to the singularity of every text, to attune the ear to stylistic specificities. I encourage you to pay attention to the different thought processes that your teachers display, and to the signature ways in which they approach a literary work. And I hope you will feel strongly about some of these approaches.


Deco Chair

 --Why study literature in English?

 English is not one national literature amongst many. It is a vast discipline that includes American Studies, Irish literature, South African literature, and that spans worlds as far apart as Medieval England and contemporary America: we study the works of Chaucer and Marlowe, Shakespeare and Milton, Austen and Dickens, Emily and Charlotte Bronte, Melville and Twain, Hawthorne and Poe, Henry James and T.S. Eliot; the enduring influence of Victorian attitudes and the global reach of Hollywood culture.

Moreover, English is the language of the scientific community--the language of international literary conferences and, crucially, the privileged idiom of prestigious academic journals worldwide. The English Department offers courses in academic writing, and provides literary scholars with training to write, read and think critically in English. 


I should like to conclude by saying a few words about the extra-curricular frameworks in our Department. These provide opportunities for you to participate in the life of the Department outside the classroom. We encourage you to organize reading groups or to join existing ones. We have a Film club, and on occasion we also organize informal public lectures (in the past we have had public lectures on Wuthering HeightsRomeo and Juliet, Alice in Wonderland, and the Harry Potter books). Visit the community page on our website for details.

Argyle high back Chair











Contact Us

The English Department
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Tel : +97225883581
Fax: +97225881245
Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 9190501

Department Chair: Prof. Galia Benziman