Led by internationally recognized faculty that bring unique exposure to the world’s leading Jewish literary authors

Bar-Ilan University prides itself on its top-rate English Literature BA program. Led by warm and dedicated internationally recognized faculty, students develop their analytical and self-expression skills in a supportive culturally diverse environment.

The BA program in Literature provides students with a solid foundation in the history and development of English and American literature, spanning the work of great canonical authors such as Shakespeare, Milton, Austen, Dickens as well as contemporary authors, while also aiming to develop high-level skills of analysis, critical thinking, argumentation and self-expression. The extra added benefit of studying at BIU, is the additional exposure to the uniqueness of Jewish literature and thought.

Seminars in translation and creative writing are also offered, as is exploration into the fields of literature and gender, literature and the visual arts, literature and religion, to name but a few.

Upon completion of the degree, students can look forward to a wide range of careers in English writing, teaching, and linguistic research.

BA Literature and Linguistics (dual major)

In addition, the double major with Linguistics is offered to students who would like to specialize not only in English Literature but also in Linguistics.  This is an excellent opportunity for those students that would like to utilize a combined knowledge of both fields in their career or continued academic endeavors.

Student Testimonial

“I chose to study English literature at Bar Ilan because of the excellent reputation of the professors. Students receive a lot of encouragement to develop and follow their individual interests within the field and the faculty displays an appreciation of each student’s individual background and motivations. If you’re looking for a customizable learning experience, guided by true literature enthusiasts who can help you develop a personal passion for your studies then this is a great option.”

Tess Miller

Courses And Descriptions

* Courses may be updated from the list provided.

First Year Courses
Academic Writing I

This course is designed to help students gain proficiency in written self-expression through a variety of text types.

Academic Writing II

This course (a prerequisite for more advanced study of literature) introduces students to the fundamentals of effective writing.

Introduction to Fiction

The course aims to introduce students to the basic concepts used in the analysis and interpretation of fictional narrative. 

Historical Background to English & American Literature I

A background course in the history of Western thought, with close reading, in English, of primary sources from ancient Greece and Rome.

Historical Background to English & American Literature II

Continuing chronologically from 191, English 192 is an introduction to the Christian background of English literature.


Introduction to Poetry

A detailed study of the elements of poetry: figurative language, rhyme, rhythm, structure and genre.

Second and Third Year Surveys
Renaissance Literature

This course provides a survey of the prose and poetry of the early modern period from Wyatt and Surrey through Milton.  

American Literature I

A survey of the development of imaginative writing in America literature from colonial times to the Civil War.  

American Literature II: 1865 to Present

This class examines how writers narrate America through the stories they tell about their country, their neighbors, and themselves.    

Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Literature

This overview of British literature 1660-1890 surveys the major trends in English literature from the late seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries.


Eight of Shakespeare’s major plays are studied in the context of the theatrical conditions of his time, the intellectual assumptions of the period in which he wrote, and the dramatist’s concern with the human character.  

Literature and Education - Dr. Ilana Blumberg

(Not offered in 2018-19)

This course considers literary texts that meditate on the purposes, strategies, and experiences of what we call "education." 

Gothic and Horror -- Dr. Yael Shapira

(Not offered in 2018-19)

This course follows the development of the Gothic tradition in English literature from the late eighteenth century to the late Victorian era. 

Children's Literature - Dr. Daniel Feldman

(Not offered in 2018-19)

This course offers a general introduction to the rich tradition of children’s literature in English since the nineteenth century.


African American Literature - Dr. Carra Glatt

**Offered in 2018-19**

This course offers an introduction to the rich tradition of African-American writers as we consider the texts’ concerns with the boundaries of identity, the legacy of slavery, and the role and responsibilities of the black artist living in a predominantly white society.

Literature in the Arts - Prof. Evan Fallenberg

**Offered in 2018-19**

This course examines texts and the art that has sprung from them through reading, listening, viewing, experiencing and attending performances and exhibitions. 

Rhetoric, Persuasion and the Media - Dr. Esther Schupak

This course explores the tension between studying Shakespeare as an historically situated, contextualized dramatist and studying a Shakespeare who is “our contemporary,” a universalized, ahistorical participant in current popular culture.

Romantic Poetry - Dr. Daniel Feldman

(Not offered in 2018-19)

This course surveys the movement known as Romanticism in its British form between the years 1789-1830.

“A Woman in the Shape of a Monster”: Gender and Aberrance in English Literature - Dr. Yael Shapira

(Not offered in 2018-19)

The course explores how ideas of aberrance and monstrosity have shaped representations of women in English and American literary works over the centuries.

Poetic Antagonisms - Dr. Daniel Feldman

(Not offered in 2018-19)

This seminar offers an overview of the sphere of contested influences and dynamic change that shape the English poetic tradition from the late Renaissance through contemporary verse.

Women and the British Novel - Dr. Ilana Blumberg

(Not offered in 2018-19) 

This course considers the historical links between women and the developing genre of the novel.

Creative Writing: A Multigenre Prose Workshop - Prof. Evan Fallenberg

(Not offered in 2018-19)

In this workshop, participants learn the tools of the trade; read what writers have to say about their craft; delve into masterful pieces of literature in order to learn from them; experiment with forms and styles; have their work critiqued by others

Creative Writing: Hybrid Genres - Dr. Marcela Sulak

**Offered in 2018-19**

The course views genre distinctions as a question of degree, rather than category. 


Reading Like Sherlock - Dr. Carra Glatt

**Offered in 2018-19**

In this course students read a series of detective narratives, using the lens of literal investigation to inform our understanding of the act of literary interpretation.

Scenes of Learning in English Literature - Dr. Ilana Blumberg

**Offered in 2018-19**

This course focuses on literary representations of learning, and sites of learning.

Shakespeare, Adaptation and Popular Culture - Dr. Esther Schupak

**Offered in 2018-19**

This course explores the tension between studying Shakespeare as an historically situated, contextualized dramatist and studying a Shakespeare who is “our contemporary,” a universalized, ahistorical participant in current popular culture.

Reading Minds - Dr. Daniel Feldman

**Offered in 2018-19**

This seminar explores the intersection of fictional texts about reading others' minds and narrative theories about why our minds love to read fiction in the first place.

Prosody and Poetic Genre - Dr. Marcela Sulak

**Offered in 2018-19**

In this seminar, students practice using various formal tools to shape feelings and perceptions into music by writing poetry in specific forms, and by participating in workshop sessions. 

Modernist Drama - Prof. Jeffrey Perl

(Not offered in 2018-19)

The course examines the movement against prose and against realism in drama that began in the 19th century with the younger Romantics in England but had its most influential exponents in Germany and France.

Art, Atrocity, Truth - Dr. Daniel Feldman

(Not offered in 2018-19)

A comparative study of how fiction and fact structure each other in literature portraying the Shoah, atrocity, and mass human-rights abuse.

Becoming Jane: The Austen Phenomenon - Dr. Yael Shapira

(Not offered in 2018-19)

The course acquaints students with Jane Austen’s development as a writer as well as with the tradition of literary criticism devoted to her work.

T. S. Eliot - Prof. Jeffrey Perl

**Offered in 2018-19**

This course treats the writings of T. S. Eliot, both collected and uncollected, published and unpublished, in the genres of poetry, drama, criticism, religious and social commentary, and philosophy.                 

Homecomings and Nostalgia - Dr. Daniel Feldman

(Not offered in 2018-19)

An advanced seminar on the concept of home (homecoming/nostos and nostalgia) in contemporary fiction.

Victorian Egoism and Altruism - Dr. Ilana Blumberg

**Offered in 2018-19**

This seminar explores the mid-Victorian discourse of egoism and altruism which organizes British novels, essays and works of socio-economic analysis in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Writing the Nation - Dr. Daniel Feldman

(Not offered in 2018-19)

This research seminar studies the relationship between nationalism and literature.

The Art of Literary Translation: Poetry - Dr. Marcela Sulak

(Not offered in 2018-19)

In this course, students become acquainted with options and strategies available for translating poetry into English while attending to artistic, cultural and politically significant features of the works they are translating.

The Art of Literary Translation: Prose - Prof. Evan Fallenberg

**Offered in 2018-19** 

In this workshop, students are introduced to the practice of literary translation and experience how texts both define and transcend cultural borders.

Teaching the Shoah through Literature - Dr. Daniel Feldman

(Not offered in 2018-19)

This course, specifically designed for current or future teachers of literature but open to all advanced students, addresses the network of unique pedagogical challenges associated with teaching texts about the Shoah.

The Modern Novel - Prof. Jeffrey Perl

(Not offered in 2018-19)

This course examines the specific expressions of “modernism" and "postmodernism" in British, Irish, and American novels.

Assimilation in American Literature - Prof. Michael Kramer

(Not offered in 2018-19)

In this seminar, we survey American literature – from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century – with an eye to the way the stories writers tell about themselves inscribe versions of the process of assimilation.  

Classicism - Prof. Jeffrey Perl

(Not offered in 2018-19)

This course reconsiders the meaning of the term “classicism” in literary and, more broadly, cultural history. 

Life Writing - Dr. Ilana Blumberg

**Offered in 2018-19** 

This course focuses on ways that the genre of autobiography has been transformed and newly conceived in the last few decades to include forms such as correspondences, graphic novels, autofiction, and variations of all kinds of memoir.

Autobiography as Literary Genre - Dr. Ilana Blumberg

(Not offered in 2018-19)

This course looks at early as well as contemporary examples of autobiography, seeking to define the aims of the genre at different moments in its development.

Jewish American Literature - Prof. Michael Kramer

**Offered in 2018-19**

This course looks at narratives of assimilation, accommodation, and return and discuss the many ways Jewish identities (religion and ethnicity) are constructed in a broad range of texts and genres.

Literature and Religion - Prof. Michael Kramer

(Not offered in 2018-19)

This class, designed for both literature and creative writing students, explores the complex relation between literary creativity and religious perception. 

International School
Bar-Ilan University
Ramat-Gan, Israel 5290002

Tel: +972- 3-738-4245
Email for further information

Program Overview
Program Length: 3 Years
Language of Instruction: English
Priority Application Deadline: September 30, 2020
Admission Requirements:
GPA 3.1 or above
SAT 1100 or above
EBRW is 600 or above

For English Literature: Statement of purpose: A short statement (up to one page) telling us a little about yourself and why you want to study in the English Literature program.



    The School of Communication at Bar-Ilan University is one of the few academic institutions in the world to offer research and training in International Communications and Public Diplomacy. It aims to empower Israel’s future generation with the knowledge and skills necessary to advocate for Israel across the globe. As a part of the BA program, students are offered the opportunity to immerse themselves in workshops on how to effectively convey messages and build a positive public image for anyone from brands, to themselves. The workshops, offered in areas relating to New Media, Advertising, Public Relations and Broadcast Media, are instructed by individuals considered professionals in their fields.

    Why Study Communication

    Communication is all around us. We use it every day without even noticing; we maintain personal communications with our family and friends, we consume mass media, and we create and participate in social networks.

    Communication studies are intended for those who want to influence and leave their mark on the world, who wish to take part in making tomorrow’s news — today. In order to accomplish that, one has to understand the media: Why is the same topic presently differently from one media outlet to another? What makes Google or Facebook so popular? Which medium is more influential – cinema, TV, radio, internet, or maybe the mobile phone? If you are interested in these questions – your place is with us.

    Unparalleled Expertise

    Bar-Ilan University has over 30 years of experience in teaching communication, and prides itself with hundreds of B.A. and M.A. graduates. The faculty members of the School of Communication and related units are internationally renowned researchers and lecturers, with extensive experience in all fields of communication: print press, TV, radio, advertising, marketing, public relations, spokesman ship and new media.

    Ample Career Opportunities

    Our graduates are sought after and well established in all fields of communications, both locally and globally. Many work in advertising or public relations offices, some in radio or TV stations, others in various websites, and a significant number in the press. Many of our graduates are media consultants in government or private offices, while others have chosen to pursue an academic research and teaching career.

    During the third year of studies, our BA students can already participate in our internship program, in which they intern in different media organizations such as PR offices, news websites, government offices and others. Through the program, the students gain practical experience in the field and acquire important tools which will assist them in their future careers.

    Program Overview

    Program Type: Major (25 Credits)
    Program Length:
     3 Years
    Language of Instruction: English
    Admission Requirements:

    • SAT: 1100
      Psychometric: 550
    • 3.5 High School GPA

    Application Deadline: Rolling admissions