About the Department
The Department of Romance Studies provides intensive training in French and/or Italian languages, literature, history, theory, and criticism. Its aims are to link the study of literature to broader issues in history, in philosophy, critical theory and art history. This commitment to interdisciplinary work can be seen in the profiles of our faculty, whose training and teaching encompass literature, history, critical theory, and continental philosophy.
The Department of Romance Studies – French and Italian – offers students the opportunity to pursue courses at all levels in the languages, cultures, literatures, and intellectual histories of the French and Italian traditions. Whether interested in French and Francophone studies, Italian studies, or in both, students will find a broad range of courses covering language, literary topics, history and criticism, cultural history and theory, and continental philosophy. The Department's program aims to reflect a conscious effort by its Faculty to address the needs of undergraduate and graduate students. The undergraduate studies in French or Italian provide therefore a comprehensive study of their respective literatures and cultures, establishing a solid basis for potential advanced studies in literature or history. At the graduate level, M.A. and Ph.D. degrees are offered.
The curriculum is also designed to benefit students participating in a wide range of double-major degrees, inside and outside of the Humanities, and with varying levels of language proficiency. In addition to its courses, the Department seeks to promote cultural understanding and dialogue in different ways: the Italian table and the French Table meetings; it oversees the undergraduate fellowships for Language courses in Paris, in Rome and in Siena, which provide an immersion into the experience of French and Italian cultures; the Department frequently hosts guest lecturers in French and Italian Studies throughout the academic year, maintaining a regular schedule of extracurricular events. For students interested in studying abroad, the Department plays an important role in the Erasmus Exchange Program in France and in Italy. These programs, open to all students, extend the educational spectrum far beyond textbooks and classrooms, and provide students with invaluable cultural and life experience.
In our experience, thanks to this interdisciplinary approach, the BA degree in Romance studies at the Hebrew University offers students many opportunities to continue to MA and PhD degrees in Israel and abroad, to integrate into research institutions, to direct themselves to careers in education, or to turn to NGOs and governmental institutions.